Music and missions says it all

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 24, 2003

S ome of us older people recall the World War II musical classics "Coming in on a Wing and a Prayer," and "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition."

The first of these described the plight of an Air Corps pilot whose bomber plane had been hit by enemy flack somewhere over the Pacific.

A Catholic priest (padre) was credited with authoring the second one while serving as chaplain aboard a U.S. Navy destroyer in the same theater of operations.

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Those were two of the more popular war-related songs of the 40s.

You will note that both of them have spiritual connotations.

While we have not had what you might call a "popular" war since the WWII era, we have been engaged in several very unpopular "police actions" since that time.

None of those "actions" apparently inspired much in the way of religiously oriented lyricism.

However, we have a Butler County gentleman in our midst, one of who was born at the height of WWII and whose objective is just the opposite of the aims of the conflict that was evidenced in the Vietnam and Korean military confrontations.

He is Wallace Edward Pouncy, and he has been engaged actively in the practice of waging peace and Christianity.

He entered the mission field in 1974 at age 31 and, risking life and limb, practiced as a missionary to the Yuqui Indians in the Bolivian jungles of South America for 15 years.

During the last two years of his tenure there he worked at Santa Cruz as a business, legal and personnel officer of the non-denominational Christian mission he represented.

Wallace is a much sought-after speaker who illustrates in detail, and with film clips, the perils and trying conditions he and his family were subjected to in the wilds of South America.

Some of the encounters he graphically illustrated could have been fatal, and his listeners lived through those times, vicariously, with Wallace and his family.

We are not the greatest people in the world for handing out accolades, but we do feel that Wallace's performance in the field merits at the least a distinguished service award.

Our subject was born at Montgomery, Oct. 1, 1943, and was educated in the public schools of that city, graduating from Robert E. Lee High in 1962.

He married the former Marie Oswalt, and together they resided in the Mt. Pleasant community with his mother, Eula Frances Pouncy.

They have one son, Joe Ed Pouncy, who attended and graduated from Liberty University, Lynchburg, Va., where he was a place kicker on the varsity football team.

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My friend and colleague Johnna Pitts turned in a column last Wednesday that described succinctly the subject matter I had planned for my column. I would advise the reading of her column for those who may not have already done so.

Buster MacGuire is copy editor and columnist for the Greenville Advocate.

He may be reached by calling 334.382.3111.