Passing Through:

Exploring the Envelope, Part One


It is wondrous how God chooses to bless people by guiding them on His path for them. as can be found in this Part One 1932 – 72 memoir of author Captain Manny Sousa, US Navy(ret), raised in an Army family during the Great Depression, World War Two, the Korean War, and the Cold War through 1955.

Following Manny’s commissioning as a Navy Ensign and designation as a naval aviator in 1956, he flew the first carrier-based aircraft capable of delivering nuclear weapons on his initial Western Pacific carrier deployment. During Vietnam War deployments in 1964 and 1966, Manny flew F-4 Phantoms. In 1968, 1970, and 1971 Vietnam deployments, he flew A-7 Corsair II’s for a total of 300+ combat missions. Sadly, resulting domestic stress contributed to the breakup of his marriage and continental separation from his four children.

In 1969 Manny’s departed aunt Jean spiritually revealed herself to him in successive three hour conversations spanning three days, summarized in Chapter One. Ever since, Jean continued her heaven-sent companionship and loving guidance in his life.

In contemplating why God would bless him so, a sinner who broke all the commandments, Manny concluded that it is now his ministry to share his miraculous experiences with Jean to encourage others to contemplate the Holy Spirit within themselves. By relating to the negative truths as well as the blessings in Manny’s life, may you fathom the depth of God’s grace and distinguish the Holy Spirit’s presence in your life, “given as a gift to live in every Christian from the moment of salvation.” (John 3:5, Acts 2:38), and then perhaps share your stories that you may please the Lord “to be used for ministry in the building up the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:11-13)

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Passing Through, Part One is my auto-biography from birth 1932 through 1971, the end of my fifth Vietnam tour and squadron change of command. Part Two, in progress, will complete PT, 1972-? Although leaving a legacy for descendants was a consideration, my primary purpose in writing PT is to share my spiritual experiences with Jean, who has been very prominently present in my life since my birth and following her death in 1949.

My facilitating narrative device is a 2027 interview by my son Michael, because it was useful to have a “devil’s advocate” and an alternative to one-sided first person narration. Though adding the possibly confusing complication of a fictional story line in a factual memoir was a concern, chapter 2 will hopefully serve to introduce and clarify my strategy.

I attempted “whole truth” recollections, including negative aspects of my history, in the interest of credibility and confession, not justification. Though you will not find “divine inspiration” for some of my actions, I did my best to balance the gray areas of pros and cons in my choices as I saw them. Although Jean influenced my future in many indirect providential ways and regularly communicated with me through unspoken messages, omens, and agreements, she never interfered with my free will in any manner.


For such unique blessings in my life, I have often wondered ‘why me?’, for I am an unworthy sinner who has broken all the Commandments. Now, thankfully surviving at age 87, I have also wondered for what purpose I was saved. I now feel that my ministry is to publicly share my story as encouragement for others to acknowledge the Holy Spirit within us in whatever form Jesus deems appropriate in fulfillment of His promise.

I made an effort to condense PT with simple words and sentences, eliminating unnecessary filler. Nevertheless, because the events of PT entails many strands of woven interaction with those close to me throughout eight decades, I suggest reading PT beginning to end without skipping in order to keep track of people and events.

I highly recommend the therapeutic and nostalgic benefits of writing memoirs to all senior citizens. As a kind lady once chastised my wife when she objected to hearing one of my tales yet again said, “Let him tell his stories, That’s all he’s got” My prayer is that you are in contact with the Holy Spirit within you and will tell your stories too.

The Holy Spirit is given as a gif to live in every Christian from the moment of salvation.

(John 3:5, Acts 2:38)

God gives each Christian gifts by His spirit to be used for ministry in the building up the body of Christ.

(Eph. 4:11-13)