On June 2, 1995, United States Air Force Captain Scott O’Grady was helping enforce the NATO no-fly zone in the skies over Bosnia when a Soviet-made anti-aircraft missile slammed into his F-16. With the aircraft exploding around him, O’Grady prayed a desperate prayer:
â€œDear God, please don’t let me die nowâ€”don’t let me die from this.â€
Though the cockpit was filled with smoke and there was no visibility, Scott looked down and saw the ejection handle shining like gold. He reached down and pulled. Released from the aircraft, with his parachute catching his fall, he prayed again:
â€œDear God, let me land in a safe place, without harm.â€
With every narrow escape of threats all around him, there was an even larger one looming on the horizon. If he landed safely, he knew he could be captured as a prisoner of war or killed. Yet, despite these threats he felt God’s presence throughout his ordeal. Before leaving on this mission, he had met friends of his mother who had gone to Medjugorje. He was told all about Our Lady’s apparitions and the miracles that have happened in millions of peoples lives through Our Lady. Medjugorje did not make a big impact on him at the time, but having landed in enemy territory and having to hide until being rescued, kept him praying which led him to Our Lady. He testified:
â€œOn the afternoon of my third day in Bosnia, I prayed to the Mother of Medjugorje. Before long I felt a definite presence. It grew more and more vivid, until I could see it, shimmering in my minds eye. It’s hard to put this into words, but I saw the vision through feeling it, and the feeling was very warm and goodâ€¦I can’t tell you how important that vision was to me. It gave me the courage to go on.â€
Scott survived six days behind enemy lines until he was finally rescued.