The events described in this article occurred almost four decades ago – nearly half a century. Shortly after I returned from Vietnam in 1972, I spent available quiet time writing out my recollections, thoughts and feelings of the events recounted in this article. With the exception of the introductory paragraph and the postscript, the narrative was written in private moments of reflection by a young 20-year old, most of which while sitting on a large rock overlooking Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. Quiet. Peaceful. Safe. Uninterrupted.
At the time, I simply wanted to document for myself my recollections – primarily to be able to remind myself in the future of the experience – and to make sure that my memory would remain uneffected by time.
The writing was cathartic for me, and once completed, the pages lay dormant in a file folder for almost 30 years, moving along with me and my family throughout my career in the U.S. Army. Over the years, I shared it with family members, and once, in a fit of boldness, sent it to the “Reader’s Digest,” thinking for some odd reason, that they might be interested in publishing it. They were not. Back into the file folder it went.
Sometime in 2001, before the horrific terrorist attack of September 11th, I shared the article with a fellow veteran who strongly encouraged me to make it public. I have been amazed, encouraged, gratified and blessed by the numbers of people who have not only read this account, but took the time to leave me a message in my original “guestbook.” I think I’ve responded to all of you, and if not, please leave me another message!
As you read through this, please remember our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guard and all others deployed in various outposts, remote assignments and combat zones. Thank the families – in person if you can, or in your prayers – who have suffered the loss of loved ones in defense of our Nation, and never, ever, forget and always honor their sacrifice.
site created by Creative Jules 2009