To absent friends.
LL, to them all.
I remember watching Walter Cronkite broadcast news of the war. One memory I have that is crystal clear to this day is adamantly telling my father, as images of our wounded being carried off on stretchers flashed across the screen, was that I wanted to enlist in the Army to help our soldiers win the war.Dad said, “Honey, you’re not old enough.” I felt helpless. The world was in turmoil with the assassinations of MLK and RFK, the riots in Chicago and the Zodiac killer. I worked with a young man named Dequiller who was a door gunner on a UH-1 Iroquois in Nam. Once in a while D would get real quiet. He would speak in soft tones about making runs to an LZ near the Cambodian border and the hell he’d seen there.It wasn’t until I’d seen the movie Platoon that I fully understood what D meant by “hell”.The image of Sgt. Elias Grodin shot in the back and falling to his knees with his arms outstretched as the Huey hurriedly abandoned him to the Viet Cong was brutally devastating to watch.I asked D if that scene was an accurate representation of the horror to which he’d been witness and his answer was a thoughtful, soft “Yes.”Sometimes when you asked D where he was when he got quiet he’d say he thought he heard the thwop, thwop, thwop of the rotor blades.Dequiller was a good man. He was a haunted man. Years later he committed suicide. D once said the life expectancy for a helicopter door gunner was about 30 seconds. I guess he must have wished for a quick end rather than endure the years he suffered in silence.I don’t know why I’m telling you this other than to say that Nam was your war and you’ve dedicated this post to your friend Bill whose name is engraved on The Wall.It is of little solace to you, but I wanted to personally thank you and Bill for your courage, sacrifice and devotion to duty and country in America’s “longest war”.God bless you Odie. We all love you bunches and I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
Thank you Odie and I'm one of many bloggers that love you too.Have a blessed Memorial Day. ☺
Viet Nam was a trying time for many of us. I remember a friend of mine, a couple years older than I, came to me one night and asked me what I knew about lasers? It turned out that he was looking to partially blind himself so that he would no longer be eligible for the draft. Many served bravely. Others ran to Canada. Some, like my friend, were willing to permanently maim themselves to keep from going to Viet Nam. It was a time when we were lied to by the government, the anti-war Left, and the main stream media (but I repeat myself!).Little wonder that so many were confused. God bless those who did their duty and served.
Larry Getzfred, Jack Punches, Joe Pycoir. I remember.
Thank you for your service.I remember the shock I experienced when people spit on returning soldiers and calling them names.I will keep Bill in my prayers today and add him to my "prayer bowl."
Sandee, Loving you back.
Curmudgeon, Thank you dear lady. I'm one of the very lucky ones who came back in tacked mentally and physically. Although, Proof would argue the mental part. I thank Bill and all of the many others for making this country a more precious place to live. I, like so many others, were very glad to give what we could for those of you back home. Love you right back girl.
Proof, I guess I was a little different. I was drafted, but was proud to serve.
Old NFO, Blessed are all of the Fallen.
Adrienne, thank you, and you're right it was tough times at the airports.
We all lost a few.
Thanks for your service Odie. I hit the service right between the Korean War and Nam. NAAS Kingsville, TX and USS Yorktown----we just chased russian subs off the CA coast.
God Bless all of our veterans. Thanks so much for your service Odie.
edutcher, that we did.
Ron, That would be fun.
Teresa, glad to do it for you babes at home.
As LL said, to absent friends.
Visiting that Wall is a life altering moment. I didn't serve in Nam, but I lost a friend, also named Bill, and finding his name on the Wall was a defining moment in my life. Thank you to all that served, so the USA stayed Free!!!!
I will never forget the first time that I saw The Wall. I was profoundly moved.
Euripides, and on this day especially.
Arizona Harley Dude, Thanks for stopping by. I haven't made it there myself. I is a small version traveling the country. I hits Reno every couple of years. I need to visit next time it does.
LL, I still need to make that trip.
Always in my heart and mind...many friends and family left there...Honor and duty came first.
I wish I'd come by sooner to thank you for your service.
To friends who gave all, they are not forgotten.
Scott, they have to come first in order for this great experiment called the United States to work. Trouble is it's citizens are moving into the me generation.
Cube, it's been 45 years, what's another day or two ... LOL. Thank you my dear!
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