In Honor of those who have fallen, of those who have given so selflessly, and those, yet to return! Please forward ….. the link and with it, the honor accorded them, so evident in this. I’ve not yet gone to D.C. with them, …. but I would like to.
When I see a Nam sticker on a vehicle that’s parking, I try to pull over and talk. If I can’t, I just give them a “thumbs-up”; they deserve it! What I tell them, if you’re a Nam Vet, I’d like you to hear as well.
About 15 years ago, on Memorial Day, I believe I was told to go speak ….. The Holy Spirit whispers thoughts like that into my mind. I turned around and couldn’t find a parking space except in my own drive; it was to be a crowded day by the cannon in Willamalane Park. I walked.
I found the man who allowed people to speak. When it came my time, after the Governor, I told my story. By the time I finished, it was so quiet, I thought they might lynch me! I had explained that what I did, was maybe for the right reasons, but what I’d done was wrong! I’d stuffed anti-war literature into duffel bags at O-Hare airport ….. those going to Nam. I’d protested …… There was lots more, but I ended it by saying, “It took a long time for me to see the full picture, and I know people believe both ways still, about the war, but what you did, …. was right; what you did was serve your country! I appreciate that now, more than I can ever convey! I want to tell you, I’m sorry, and even more so, ….. thank you for what you did, and welcome home!”
Like I said, for probably 20 seconds or so, you could have heard a pin drop; it didn’t even seem as if there were traffic going by, though I’m sure there must have been. It was as surreal a moment as I’ve ever had …..
There was one other I should tell you first. I also unloaded body bags and caskets returning home. One night my co-workers, some hating me, had set me up to transport the escort of the body and the casket, to where he was to be picked up, at the freight office. He asked me a couple questions ….. in our short drive, I told him what I believed and why. As the casket was moved inside, for him to finish the paperwork, he reached out to shake my hands, he told me, “that body in that casket? I appreciate how you respectfully handled it; that’s my little brother.” He added, you probably didn’t notice, my hand was on my .45 the whole time we rode together; your ‘friends’ back there set you up; they told me you were a protestor and I was going to put a bullet in your head, but as you spoke, I could see the tears well up in your eyes and I could see into your reasons for doing what you’ve done.” This MP Sargent, let go of my hand, having held it with a grip of steel, said “you be careful, now.”, saluted me and walked off.
Back at the park, that moment, just inside TWA’s Freight pickup, flashed through my mind – it was the silence; it was deafening! Then, as if choreographed, the crowd erupted in applause …… people waited in line to tell me thanks, but as I said ….. it wasn’t me; ….. I was directed by the Holy Spirit and it was evidently time for a healing to begin!
And you? If you’ve read this far, ….. and you’re a vet. The entire nation regrets how you were treated and what you had to endure! THANK YOU, SOLDIER!