This morning changed a little bit for me, though.
I checked my e-mail and there was a message from my Chapter 937 of Vietnam Veterans of America. I paid my dues to become a Lifetime Member, but I never go to the meetings. I guess I never go for the same reason that I didn’t want to go to the traveling Wall exhibit when it came to a nearby community. My wife wanted to go see it but I told her that I just couldn’t do it. I had viewed it on the Web site several years before, had seen the names of those that I lost and I had said my goodbyes. I just couldn’t do it again.
The chapter is always sending out notification of when and where the meetings will be; I usually never even open them. This one was different; the subject line was “Goodbye Vietnam.”
I’ve never said, “Goodbye, Viet Nam.” I had pictures like the ones shown in the video; somewhere, in the 40+ years along the way, they've been lost. Still, there’s not a day that goes by that a smell or a sound or sight or a memory doesn’t remind me of Viet Nam. Because of Viet Nam and the Marine Corps, I have such a deep love for America and I take such pride in our country's flag.
After I finished my tour of duty in Viet Nam, I was stationed at Camp Pendleton in California. I lived off base during this tour of duty. I wasn’t required to be aboard base until sometime after Morning Colors. I made sure that I was aboard base to be able to render a salute to those Morning Colors and I was usually there for Evening Colors, too.
By the way... We were winning when I left Viet Nam!
Passed on from Chapter 937 of Vietnam Veterans of America:
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Xxxxxx Xxxxxxx <firstname.lastname@example.org>Date: Wed, Aug 3, 2011 at 8:36 PM
Subject: Goodbye Vietnam
This video, while certainly emotional, sums up how we heal.
I learned a lot from the Vietnam experience.
I lost dear friends, some blood but gained comrades, brothers, true friend.
To the over 55,000 names on that black granite wall, we are brothers.
To the over 100,000 who came home, we are brothers.
We cannot forget our brothers.
Thanks for your sacrifice and your service.
Doc Powell Hotel/Golf/ Company Corpsman 2/9, 3rd Mar Div Viet Nam 1967/1968
This video might be interesting to you; rather emotional, tho....
I cannot even imagine what it must have been like.
Served during this time, but never in country...
We cannot forget the men and women who put their lives on the line (and sometimes sacrificed their lives) in the name of our protectionand freedom.