Personal History of Drew by his brother Greg Miles
Colaborador: Will Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Personal History of Drew F. Miles
Background of This Personal History
This is the Personal History of Drew F. Miles. It was written in September 2015 by Gregory L. Miles his younger brother at the request of Drew's wife Linda K. (Bowen) Fernandez. Drew passed away on April 5, 1982 at the age of 34, just before his 35th birthday. To the best of my knowledge, Drew did not write a personal history that is available to the family.
In August, 2015, Drew's wife, Linda K. Fernandez received correspondence from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints requesting information about missionaries who had served in Venezuela, Colombia and Central America in the mid-1960s. The Church's purpose was to collect information and make a history of the missionary work in what was the Central American Mission. Drew was a missionary in that mission during the time period of approximately June 1966 to January 1968. Linda contacted me, and requested that I put together any information I had about Drew that could be submitted to the Church and may be of benefit and interest to his daughter, Julie Miles (now Julie Dunahoo), his grandchildren and other family members.
Since there are very few records available to me that relate to Drew's life, I will attempt to use what sources I have and my best recollection of events. This Personal History will at best be approximate. It is, nevertheless, accurate in all material aspects. If you are aware of any inaccuracies please contact me so I can make corrections.
While working on this history I discovered that our father, Farrel T. Miles (hereinafter I shall refer to him as "Dad") made some significant notations about Drew’s life in Dad's own personal history. I have used those as a source of information and in some cases quoted directly from Dad's Personal History. Quotations from Dad’s Personal History are shown in italics. They relate mostly to Drew’s early life. Portions that I have written are set forth in a standard non-italic font.
This history is important. It has been said if a person does not write his personal history, he is nearly forgotten in two generations. In Drew's case that would occur in one generation. Julie Miles Dunahoo was born seven or eight months after Drew passed away. Consequently, only we, of the first generation, have information to provide about him.
It is my purpose in writing this to "plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers." Joseph Smith History 1:39. This is verse taken from the Book of Malachi in the Old Testament but is different as quoted by Moroni to Joseph Smith than that in the Old Testament. The wording quoted by Moroni conveys a more clear and powerful message than that contained in the Old Testament. I hope, that as you read this it will help you to plant in your heart the sacred promises that you have made to your father's including Farrel T. Miles and Drew Farrel Miles, two the finest man that ever walked on this earth.
The Birth of Our First Son--Drew Farrel Miles1
On May 7, 1947, our first son, Drew Farrel Miles was born at the William Budge Memorial Hospital at Logan, Utah. There was an extended period of labor before the birth for Peggy, but, all went well. We joined hands with our Heavenly Father to provide a body for a new spirit to come to the earth and to our home. The providence of our God, in the wonder of birth, is a never-ending miracle.
As Peggy was in labor, I was near her bedside to give her comfort and encouragement. She detected my heavy concern over the situation and said to me, "Farrel, it isn't necessary for you to be here and see me suffer, why don't you wait outside?" That remark was a betrayal of her unselfish, and thoughtful feelings for me. I shall never forget that singular act of love. I stayed with her.
Most births have their amusing happenings and, this was no exception. During Peggy's rather long period of labor, I went to the apartment in her parents’ car to obtain some things which she needed. It was in the wee hours of the morning, and I went through a stop light. Two policemen pulled me over and noted the error of my ways. I explained to them the situation and emphasized what a hard time my wife was having. They gave me a warning to be cautious and instructed me to continue, which I did. However, to make sure my story was correct, they followed me to the hospital and seemed convinced when I entered the building. New fathers don't always have it together, of which I was one.
One of the evenings during visiting hours my brother, Delbert, and his wife, Rachael, had come to see Peggy and the baby, and we were standing at the viewing window with several others looking at the babies. Looking over the situation, I saw the opportunity to act like everyone usually expects a new father to act and to observe their reactions. I made my way to the window and said in a rather loud voice, "That's my son, over there!" There was an immediate reaction by the women at the window, "Who said that?" and, "Oh look, he is a new father, isn't he proud" and "Isn't that sweet?" Delbert, my brother, said, "Look at Red, (a nick-name by which I was known during all my teenage years) he's busting all his buttons." I don't suppose we will ever know whether I am telling the true story, or whether I fabricated my motive for the account, to obscure the on the spot behavior of a proud father letting the world know that his new son is here. Let the truth remain a mystery.
The Early Days of a New Son
Parents traditionally have an exalted opinion of their children. Somehow they feel that their offspring are exceptional and possess abilities which are not common to other children. As parents, Peggy and I were no exception to that rule, and that leaves me under the necessity of speaking only the truth about Drew. From the beginning he exhibited special qualities of perception and intelligence. As we would gaze into his eyes, which were housed in the body of an infant, we seemed to see adult understanding. We remarked often that his "spiritual eyes" were the object of our view and that they were peering back at us in wonderment and curiosity about this New World he suddenly found himself in. He appeared to be figuring out the best and fastest way to communicate and be on with discovery. It was as though his spirit still had the knowledge of the Pre-Earth
life and was looking at us with full understanding. Later, as he developed the power to communicate, the veil was then drawn over his memory of another time and another place, and he settled into the limitations of mortal existence. I do not say that this was literally true, but I use it as an analogy that could be wholly, or partly true, to describe the unusual feelings which we had.
Drew began to communicate with the world quickly. He could say a couple of words at the age of three months, and could talk by the age of ten months. As soon as he could talk he was responsive to instruction, and could "reason" through a situation and make self-determining decisions. He understood quickly what he was taught, and was disposed to obedience and righteousness. A result, I am sure, of being valiant in the Pre-Earth life.
Sounds like an angel who gave little difficulty to his parents. No, he brought with him the usual conditions of infanthood. He was always spitting up his food, was a poor sleeper, and did many of the other things that parents could do without. Such was the advent of our first son.
New Home and Work in Los Angeles, California
After graduation we placed all the world’s goods that we possessed in a rented trailer behind our l940 Chevrolet, and drove to metropolitan Los Angeles. Our first apartment was in Bell, California. A few months later we moved to Maywood, and shortly after that we rented a small house in Huntington Park from Paul Clayton, who was a member of the Church. This was a great improvement in our convenience and privacy. Peggy was now pregnant with Gregory, our second son. These cities were a suburb of Los Angles, about twenty-five miles from downtown. We were members of Maywood Ward, South Los Angeles Stake. Peggy was teaching Primary, and the Literature Lesson in Relief Society. I was teacher’s quorum adviser, and later Junior M-Men teacher. Thus began our spiritual and professional life in the big city. Our companionship with new friends and the saints, and the intensity of love and companionship in our little family made life pleasant and happy, though we were again separated from the main body of our families.
Activities of Drew F. Miles in 1964 and 1965
During 1964 Drew Miles graduated from seminary with his three-year certificate. He also received his Patriarchal Blessing from Charles H. Norberg, Patriarch. In January of 1965, Drew graduated from Hollywood High School, Hollywood, California, with honors, "Silver Seal", and received a scholarship for attendance at the University of California at Los Angeles, which he attended for the spring semester. Drew participated in track while at Hollywood High. He lettered in that sport and achieved much. He also was accepted for entrance to the California Institute of Technology at Pasadena, California, for the fall semester of 1965. In June of 1965, he graduated from Seminary receiving his four-year certificate. In July he reported to the California Mission to serve as a summer youth missionary and in September he began his studies at the California Institute of Technology at Pasadena, California.
A Series of Activities of Drew Farrel Miles
Drew Farrel Miles made application for, and was accepted for attendance, at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. A very prestigious school in the scientific fields, and one which only accepted accomplished students. He moved into student housing on campus and began his studies in September of 1965.
After his first year at "Cal Tech", as it was called, he received his mission call to labor in the Central American Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Mission area included Venezuela, Costa Rica, Panama, San Blas Islands, and the Panama Canal Zone. He reported to the Mission Home in Salt Lake City, Utah, at 119 No. Main Street on Monday, June 20, 1966, at 2:00 PM. He was granted a two year leave of absence from Cal Tech.
A farewell testimonial was held for Elder Drew F. Miles in the Hollywood Ward of the Los Angeles Stake. Peggy wrote the lyrics to a song titled "Service Will Bring You Joy.” The music of "Greensleeves" was used and it was sung by Stefan Miles and Brett Miles, with Stefan Miles playing the Autoharp. The title and lyrics are as follows:
Service Will Bring You Joy
We'll miss you Drew when you’re far away,
But this is our Father's way.
So with humility serve and pray,
And He'll watch o'er you night and day.
Service will bring you joy,
Oh service will bring you joy,
Service will bring you joy
And happiness forever.
Peggy Jean Miles, June 12, 1966
Talks were given by Richard Lufkin, Peggy Miles, Farrel T. Miles, and Elder Drew F. Miles. It was a very spiritual evening, and Drew was sent to his missionary labors with the love of family and fellow saints.
Move to Our Home at 8806 Zelzah Ave, Northridge, California and His Mission
In August of 1967, we moved to our home in Northridge, which was to be our home for many years to come. We were made acquainted with the area and the home that was for sale by members of the Church. Bishop Bruce A. Honey, who was the Elders quorum president in the Hollywood Ward when I was the Bishop, provided us with help in this consideration. This home had a large lot about one hundred feet by three hundred feet, a swimming pool, was well landscaped, four bedrooms, four baths, breakfast area, living room and dining area, and a den, where the family seemed to live much of the time.
Drew2 spent 27 months in the Central American Mission. The Central American Mission included at that time at least Panama, Columbia, Venezuela and other Central American countries. His mission president during at least part of the time was Ted E. Brewerton. I believe the President Brewerton became a general authority.
During the mid-60s, when Drew was on his mission, there was, even as now a great deal of political unrest in Central America. However, Panama was a protectorate of United States and the Panama Canal was owned and operated by the United States. Thus, Drew got to serve his mission in a broad range of political environments. He relates several experiences I think he would want his posterity to be aware of -- just to put a smile on their faces.
The San Blas Islands and Indians
One of the places that Drew served was in the so-called San Blas Islands (hereinafter the “Islands”). The Islands were not far offshore from the Central American mainland. As I recall, he said the missionaries were required to travel to the Islands by boat and between the Islands by canoe. His time on the Islands was rather unique in several particulars. First, and most importantly, the natives on the Islands are a white people as opposed to the
Hispanic people of Mexico and most of Central America. They appear to be direct descendants of the Nephites.
A second unique aspect of these Indians is how they were introduced to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Apparently, one of the Indians obtained an education and learned to speak Spanish. While doing so he happened to get a copy of the Book of Mormon in Spanish and was astounded when he read its contents. According to this young man, it contained the very teachings that he had received among his people on the Islands. He found the missionaries and took Books of Mormon and missionaries back to the Islands where many of the people joined the Church; they already knew the stories and the much of the history contained in the Book of Mormon. They considered it to be their own story.
Primitive Living Conditions and the Great Green Infection
While on the Islands the elders lived in very primitive circumstances. Drew explained that they lived in thatched roofed type buildings. There were no bathing facilities so the elders were required to bathe and clean in the waters of the ocean. I believe that the Islands are located in the Atlantic, but I'm not certain. Also, the elders didn't wear suits. They were dressed informally because the harsh circumstances.
Drew told me a story in which he and his companion had just taken a bath in the ocean. They would dry off by sitting on chairs and stools by the grass huts. There were frequent tropical downpours and when that happened, the water would literally pour off the top of the grass huts.
On one occasion he and his companion were sitting there during such a storm and the water poured right down onto his companion’s lap. They dried off and went about their missionary business. However, to their chagrin they started to develop an infection in the groin area that was like green moss. Apparently, something had been washed off the roof of the hut and the vegetable growth spread. It was very itchy and uncomfortable, and they tried everything to get rid of it. Since their mission president was a licensed pharmacist or in the healthcare industry, he got several prescriptions for them, but they were all ineffective. Both he and his companion suffered extensively with the discomfort. Eventually, they came across a "miracle cure", Absorbine Junior. Absorbine Junior is commonly used for athlete's foot. He described the cure as working very quickly, but unless you’re familiar with Absorbine Junior, you may not know that it has an alcohol base and when applied to the groin area a strong and burning occurs. As Drew might say, "it hurt like a million bees". However, the cure worked.
Drew Makes Some Friends for Life
During his time in the mission, Drew also met several significant people in both of our lives. He had a junior companion named William Wingo. Bill, not only was Drew's companion in the mission field, but was a Drew’s and my classmate in law school. By 2014, I had built a law firm in the Phoenix metropolitan area which had grown to nearly 150 employees, and was one of the major law firms in the Southwest. We have worked with Bill on a number of initiatives, including opening a Salt Lake City office, which as of the time of this writing is in the process of going forward.
Drew became familiar with a gentleman named Charles Davis. Or just plain Charlie. When I joined the law firm of Udall Shumway in Mesa Arizona in 1981 Charlie was a partner at the law firm, and he and I became friends. As I will discuss later Drew became ill in
about 1980 and for about two years struggled until he passed away in 1982. When Drew passed away, in the spring of 1982, I traveled to California to be with the family, and it was announced in my law firm that my brother Drew Miles had passed away. At that time, Charlie recognized Drew’s name, and when I returned from California and the funeral Charlie and I talked about Drew. Charlie told me although he did not know Drew well they were in the mission together, and Drew had a fine reputation.
Drew also recounted some other interesting experiences that I believe he would want me to pass on to you. Unfortunately, I don't know much about his proselyting, but I do know that he became a mission leader and was considered an outstanding missionary, leader and teacher. He also spoke very good Spanish. He was well respected by both Charlie and Bill and others I came in contact who knew him at BYU. However, now to the interesting stories.
Bribing the Panamanian Police
Drew was for some time during his mission assigned to the Panama Canal Zone as zone leader. Part of his responsibility was to drive with his companion from the Atlantic side to the Pacific side of the Panama Canal in a VW bus. Although the Canal Zone was controlled and managed by the United States, other parts of Panama were controlled managed and policed buy the Country of Panama. He described one main road that went from the Pacific to the Atlantic; and they could spend one week working with the elders on the Pacific side, and the next week working with the elders on the Atlantic side. I'm not sure how far the drive is but I believe it's only 50 miles or so and certainly less than 100 miles from the Atlantic to Pacific and back. This main highway was administered by the Panamanian police.
According to Drew and this is true in many Central and South American countries the police are not paid a salary for their wages. Rather, they receive their living from the bribes that are given to them by people they arrest. Apparently, the people accept this and expect this.
Drew had a great sense of humor and could laugh at almost anything. He told me that as they would drive back and forth between the Atlantic and Pacific they would almost always be stopped by the Panamanian police. The police knew they were Americans, had some money, and the Police would be expecting a bribe. Drew describes the events that would routinely take place somewhat as follows:
“As we would drive, we would always expect to get stopped by the Panamanian police. They would pull our VW bus over and ask us to step out. Since this happened weekly as he went from one side of Panama to the other, it became a routine process. When we got stopped the police officer would say something like:
"Well, gentlemen, this is very serious. Do you realize how fast you are going?"
Drew would then respond, and he sometimes would get smart mouth about it: "No, how fast were we going?"
The officer would then say, so many kilometers per hour and "this is very serious."
Drew would respond, "How serious do you think it is?"
The officer would say," I think the judge will impose a fine of at least 200 pesos (or whatever currency was)".
Drew then say, "wow, that's a lot of money I don't think I would ever be able to pay such a large fine. I wonder if the judge would only fine 50 pesos."
The officer replied, “I am sure the judge would never fine just 50 pesos, but I'm sure he would take 75."
Drew within reach into his pocket, get 75 pesos give it to the officer. The officer would think him and Drew his companion would get back in the VW bus and drive on.
This went on for some time, and eventually it came it to the attention of the mission president who instructed the elders not to pay the bribes the police officers were asking for even though it was the custom of the people. The president explained it was dishonest the other should not participate in that custom.
When Drew told me this story, I could hardly stop laughing. However there is another interesting twist. Apparently, the missionaries were not the only ones having this problem. Eventually Drew had an idea. Each time he would be driving along and see a police car parked waiting to stop someone, he would flash his headlights at the oncoming traffic. Before too long, everyone got the message and the police had difficulty stopping the people using the highway, because the travelers were so careful to send a message by flashing their headlights. Only Drew would think of something like that.
Colombia and Venezuela
At some point towards the end of Drew's mission, the Central American mission was divided into several missions. Although I do not know the names of the northern missions, the southern part of the mission covered Colombia and Venezuela and was referred to as the "Columbo-Venezualian Mission". Drew was assigned to serve a mission leader and spent some time in Caracas Venezuela. I do not know if you ever got to Columbia or not.
Earthquake In Venezuela
I'm going to have to give you a little background so you understand the next story. Drew was blessed with incredible mathematical and analytical ability. I remember Drew sitting on the toilet and reading Einstein’s Theory of Relativity3 the way most of us would read the paper. Drew had developed considerable mathematical experience and acumen before leaving on his mission. In high school he studied algebra, geometry, trigonometry, differential calculus, and analytical geometry. By 14 he was proficient in algebra and worked in Dad's engineering office as an engineer designing buildings. Also, before he went on his mission he completed at least one year of his education at The California Institute of Technology. Of course, everything at Caltech is about physics, mathematics, engineering and so forth because that's where NASA has the Jet Propulsion Laboratory which manages the United States' space program.
On to the story. While Drew was serving in Venezuela, there were some very serious earthquakes. These earthquakes caused many of the buildings to collapse due to the poor quality of construction. While he was there, I believe he was in contact with Dad about the catastrophe. The whole structural engineering world (that is engineers that design buildings to stand up especially in earthquake zones) was very interested in what occurred there. Many of the buildings had crumbled, and some had "pancaked". Pancaking occurs when the building smashes down floor after floor so
their six floors get pilled and squished down on top of one another; and if there are six floors they might flatten out to total 10 feet tall with just the concrete slabs piled one on top of another.
Drew was asked to take photographs, look at the buildings and collect information. When he returned from his mission, he gave this to Dad and as I recall, both Dad and Drew presented a detailed seminar to the Structural Engineer Society about the way the buildings collapsed under the earthquake conditions. I believe that much of this work that they did was used to develop current earthquake design standards for buildings. It is interesting that in 1994 in the Northridge Earthquake, many of the same problems occurred -- there were a considerable number of buildings that pancaked just like in Venezuela4. My source of information is conversations I had with Dad.
Drew Almost Did Not Make It Home From His Mission
Drew completed his mission and began the trip home from Columbia to Northridge California. As I recall, we moved from Hollywood California, where Dad was the Bishop of the Hollywood First Ward, to Northridge California where Dad became the Bishop of the Northridge Second Ward, in about 1967 while Drew was on his mission.
Because Drew was so intelligent and quick of mind, and liked to be a "smart mouth" he almost didn't make it home at all. Drew was assigned to travel home with another missionary who was his "traveling companion". The airplane stopped in what I believe was El Salvador, or some other backward Central American country. There
was a long layover while they waited to catch their next flight to go north. According to Drew they had at least a few hours and decided to go out and see the city. First mistake.
Unfortunately, there was a revolution going on in the city; it was probably not the best time to be a sightseer. Drew and his traveling companion went into the city and were watching students riot, rocks get thrown, people arrested, police beating people and so forth – all with the greatest interest and curious delight. Second mistake. Hardly, in my judgment, the place to be.
Apparently the police noticed the two Americans standing by and watching the whole process and of course, taking pictures. As you can imagine the riot police were not happy that Drew and his companion – the Americans – were taking pictures and documenting what was going on. While Drew had no devious intent, inciting Central American riot police during a revolution was not a good idea. Third mistake.
The police gathered up a bunch of students and put them in the back of a paddy wagon. They grabbed Drew and his companion and went to arrest them. They asked what Drew was doing there. Instead of giving a polite, respectful and appropriate answer he smarted off in Spanish to the police officers. When this happened, many of the students in the police truck burst out laughing. This only infuriated the police who then grabbed Drew and his companion threw them in the back of the truck and drove off to police headquarters. So here's the situation, Drew’s in the back of a police truck during a revolution with a bunch of students who were involved in a riot. Hardly the place for missionaries and representatives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to be.
However, Drew really realized that this was a dangerous situation when they got to the police station, and they were actually put in jail. Time was passing, he and his companion were going to miss the flight, and it was questionable whether they would ever get out of jail. It was customary then as it sometimes is now in Latin America countries to put Americans in jail, and simply throw away the keys. No doubt Drew was aware of this custom and became concerned that he would never be heard from again.
Fortunately, there was a very high government official who was a member of the Church. They had always been told by the mission president that in an emergency they should try to get the police to call this high government official who would vouch for them and protect the missionaries. Drew tried to talk to the police (I hope a little more politely). However things did not turn out as Drew had hoped. The police refused to do so. According to Drew, they seemed to be afraid to call somebody that important in the Country especially to tell him they had arrested some important Mormon missionaries from America. Drew and his companion were getting desperate.
Then there was a true miracle. I'm not sure they deserved it, but the police decided to load up the students, Drew and his missionary companion and haul them off to who knows where. In Central American countries, often people just simply "disappear". It looks like that what was going to occur to Drew and the students. Now Drew and his companion were really afraid. They didn't know what to do. I don't recall Drew telling me that they prayed, but I'm sure they did because it was a miracle.
The police loaded the students into the back of the truck. The truck was a paddy wagon which meant that it had seats on both sides for prisoners and limited space. The police loaded the students in first and when the police were done all the seats were occupied and there is no room in the truck for Drew and his companion. A conversation between the police officers ensued when the police couldn’t figure out how to get Drew and his companion to wherever they were going to take them, the police told Drew to just "get out of here". Needless to say Drew and his companion made a beeline to the airport, got there just in time to take their flight and were grateful to have gotten out.
Elder Drew Miles was honorably released from the Columbia-Venezuela Mission on September 22, 1968. A letter of congratulations on his fine service as a missionary was sent to his parents on September 18, 1968.
Elder Drew Farrel Miles gave a report of his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Columbia-Venezuela Mission. The countries in which he served were Columbia, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Panama, and the San Blas Islands. The report was given in the Northridge First Ward of the Reseda Stake, California on October 6, 1968.
June 11, 1971, Drew F. Miles graduated from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, receiving his Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics.
It is important for you to understand the accomplishment of even being admitted to the California Institute of technology. Caltech as it is referred to is one of the world’s leading engineering and scientific schools. Its archrival is the Massachusetts Institute of technology or MIT. Caltech receives thousands of applications for all over the world, but, that time only accepted less than 200 applicants. It was a great honor to be there. I believe however, the before he started going to Caltech, he had at least a semester or
two at UCLA.
Truly, Caltech is a “geek” school. However, the school is part of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory which is the United States of America’s made administration Center for most of the space travel.
Caltech holds some of the most prestigious awards and honors in the engineering and scientific world. One honor, of which Drew was especially proud however, was it had the worst football team in the entire nation. As I recall he stated that it only won one football game in all of its history. At Caltech, no one gets scholarships for sports, and sports are just a second thought for fun. I’m not sure they even practice before they go to games.
During Drew’s first year, he was required to actually live on campus. They did not accept the fact that anyone to be successful if he did not live on campus, or was required to work. This group of “geeks” is prone to do some very strange things. You’ve often heard of the science kids doing crazy antics, and of course, Drew and his fellow students in his class were no different. On one occasion, one of his fellow classmates, who happened to be from Texas, was getting homesick. They honored his homesickness by taking all of the furniture out of his room, filling the room with sand, and building a windmill out of rebar. They also dressed up the room up with cactuses and so forth.
By the way, if these guys were really so smart why is it they didn’t realize that cactuses are more the native species of Arizona, part Southern California and New Mexico, and not so much of Texas.
Courageous Decision of Faith
Drew had one very important decision he had to make while at Caltech. He applied for his mission and was called during his freshman year at Caltech. He was in a very elite status and was highly honored to been accepted into the school. He informed his faculty advisors that he’d been called as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and felt it was his first and divine duty to honor God and go and spread the gospel.
As you may guess, many of these faculty advisors were “godless” people and after they had given him a chance to come from UCLA, which was rare in itself, he insulted them and the school by putting his Church ahead of schooling. This was practically unheard of. Nevertheless, he exercised faith, as did his family and he was given a leave of absence for the 27 months he was on his mission so that he could leave and return. Occasionally you hear of young LDS men who give up lucrative professional sports contracts to go on missions and risk losing what they have worked so hard for to go on missions. This decision by Drew was in every way at least comparable to the sacrifices made by and the risk take and the risk those athletes. Actually, it was probably far more important because getting into Caltech is a far more exclusive and rare success, then becoming a professional athlete in baseball, football basketball or other major sports.
When Drew returned from his mission, all of his classmates were nearly seniors. He had been completely out of science study for 2 ½ years and was going to be immersed back into high-level scientific and mathematical study when he was at best “rusty” and worst almost nonfunctional in these fields. No doubt, it took great effort to catch up and reinsert himself in the rigorous academic environment of Caltech. No doubt, he received the Lord’s blessing to achieve this nearly impossible transition back into the Caltech environment.