Skip to comments.Memorial Day Miracle At 'The Wall' (tear jerker)
Posted on 05/22/2009 11:06:20 AM PDT by Drango
Allen Hoe, 62, served as a combat medic in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968.
His son, K. Nainoa Hoe, served as a first lieutenant infantry officer with the Army's 3rd Battalion in Mosul, Iraq. He died there on Jan. 22, 2005, at the age of 27.
On Memorial Day that year, Allen traveled to Washington, D.C., from his home in Honolulu for services being held at the Vietnam Memorial, often referred to as "the wall." Army nurses returning home from the war were being honored there that day.
"I thought it would be great to welcome these young trauma nurses with some special Hawaiian leis," Hoe says.
When he saw Maj. Paula Couglin walking up the path he said, "Here, this is a special gift from me to you."
Couglin lowered her head so Allen could place the lei on her and saw a button Allen had pinned to his chest. She put her finger on it and said, "I know him."
"How do you know him? He was my son," Hoe recalls saying.
"I was the trauma nurse at the crash unit where he died," Couglin said. "I will never forget that face." The two hugged and Couglin cried.
Allen could tell that Couglin was tense. "I want you to know that my son was a warrior," he told her. "He absolutely recognized all of the risks that were involved."
Couglin decided to tell Hoe something that had been bothering her. It was her job to prepare his son's body for a last viewing, but she couldn't get his eyes to close.
"My son would sleep with his eyes partially open," he told her. "His men ... were never certain what they could do when the lieutenant was sleeping, because they never knew if he was sleeping or if he was just awake watching what they were doing."
Reflecting on the chance encounter, Hoe says, "It was one of those miracles at the wall. It was absolutely remarkable."
And thank you Lt. K. Nainoa Hoe for your service.
ping for home
Awesome. Thanks so much for posting.
That’s a tear jerker.
Thanks for posting and making my screen go all blurry...
fuzzy screen bump
Please wash a spot for me and my family. We would be very thankful.
NPR can do some really good work
Thank you for that image Ron...
I find it hard to go to the veterans events on Memorial day.
I tear up which the sunglasses hide, but frankly many times it’s a lot more than just tears and audible sobs and nose blowing are evident. On one hand I feel a little bit embarrassed, on the other hand I don’t care if my emotions surface.
You are welcome and so very correct.
May God Bless and watch over our guys in harms way.
No need to thank me, I’ve done nothing. Happy memorial day.
fyi....a memorial day tribute from a fellow freeper
God Bless America..not much else to say.
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