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MEMORIAL DAY 2003-#4--"WELCOME HOME!!!!"
5/24/03---but in reality...every day for over 30 years | redrock--and EVERY name on that Black Granite Wall

Posted on 05/24/2003 9:37:21 PM PDT by redrock

"WELCOME HOME"

By themselves....they are powerful words. Conjuring up images of family....of your mother and father....sisters and brothers....of being away for a long time...and having them so glad that you're back.

Together.......the words can be so powerful that they can actually heal.

===========================

I enlisted in the United States Army when I was 17.

I had already graduated High school....and had been taught from the time that I was born that each of us has a duty.

A duty to serve and protect our Nation....which in reality is serving and protecting our families...and our way of life.

Because of my Religious Beliefs..(and because I was 17...and Positive that I was right) I was granted conscientious objector status ...and viola!!! (at least in Army terms) I became a Medic.

After training I asked to be sent to Vietnam.....and I served with 1st Cav for 2 tours...where I quickly learned some difficult lessons.

The least of which is that after 2 months in the field....I started to carry a weapon..(although I'm still not convinced that a worn out .45 is a real weapon...instead of just a REAL loud noisemaker)

I also learned that even tho I have never really been able to reconcile my Religion with War.....I HAVE been able to learn that some things ARE worth fighting for..(and they said I could never learn...sheesh!).

I also learned that what we were doing in Vietnam was trying (at least on the soldier level) to help a people have Freedom.That's one of the things worth fighting for...Freedom.

But...the war ended....with the Politicians tucking their tails between their legs and running away.....leaving the Vietnamese to suffer and die.

...and those same politicians...those same members of government....those same Liberal's who ranted against the war....also leaving us...the soldiers...to suffer and die.

To never be even acknowledged....to be treated as family members returning from far away.

To be welcomed home.

========================

Well...life goes on...and most of us tried to get on with our lives....putting what we had seen and done in some private...secluded part of our souls. To be brought out only when the alcohol levels rose to a certain point....or when another member of our Fraternity was nearby..and we felt somewhat safe.

Sometimes we even lied about being there...denying it so that we wouldn't have to maybe endure someones hatred...or so that maybe we would get the job. In college classes we shut up....and let the Liberal Professors spout off. Never trying to deny what they spewed.....as we were unsure of our place....since it seemed to so many of us that no one wanted us around...that they didn't want our memories of another time and place. That they didn't want us contradicting THEIR version of the Vietnam War.

===========================

Time passed....and most of us made peace with what we had seen and done. Most of us, in various degrees, put our memories in a safe place...covered over with scabs and scars.

For me...I never talked about those times.I had put those memories in a safe place...guarded with walls.

...and then one day...I read in a newspaper in Southern Utah...that a thing called a 'Moving Wall' was going to be in a nearby town. A small copy of that Black Granite Wall in Washington.

My stomach churned....but I knew that I needed to go.

To walk along it's length and re-visit the people I knew to be on there.

To say hello....

I got to the park where the 'Moving Wall' had been set up...with my daughter..(who was 4 at the time). I sat in the car for over an hour....trying to gain the courage to face that wall..(and trying to explain to a very patient 4 year old just why we were just sitting there).

Finally...I could get out of the car...and walking towards it felt like moving thru the worst Vietnamese mud. It felt like it took years just to go a few yards.

When I got close to the wall ...I started to see the names...and my heart was racing and I was sweating like I had never done so before. I was crying...I couldn't hold it in...and then...the moment of my personal Deliverance arrived.

I felt a touch on my arm...and I looked down into the face of a 9 or 10 year old little girl with a hugh grin on her face.

She asked me if I had been in Vietnam.

I said yes.....and then she said the words that healed...that allowed the scabs and scars to be taken away.

"WELCOME HOME"


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: army; memorialday; michaeldobbs; veterans; vietnam; welcomehome
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To: M Kehoe
Thanks.....

me

51 posted on 05/25/2003 5:52:21 PM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: exit82
Thank You.....and a few tears between friends is perfectly ok.

redrock

52 posted on 05/25/2003 5:53:59 PM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: EveningStar; Buckeroo; Southflanknorthpawsis; dansangel; Lazamataz; austingirl
Memorial Day........

redrock

53 posted on 05/25/2003 5:59:44 PM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER; Hank Kerchief; Pokey78; JimVT; wardaddy; jwalsh07; deadhead
Memorial Day........

redrock

54 posted on 05/25/2003 6:05:11 PM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: WhiskeyPapa; SamAdams76; HairOfTheDog; mombonn; Pete-R-Bilt; F16Fighter; MissAmericanPie
Memorial Day........

redrock

55 posted on 05/25/2003 6:19:31 PM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: redrock
To you and all of your brothers and sisters in the military past and present....*Thank-You*

And.....*Welcome Home*


56 posted on 05/25/2003 6:24:33 PM PDT by dansangel (America - love it, support it or LEAVE it!)
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To: redrock

Welcome Home redrock and all Vietnam Veterans. Thanks for sharing your personal story redrock. Tears welling up in my eyes. God Bless

Colleen

57 posted on 05/25/2003 7:25:58 PM PDT by deadhead (God Bless Our Troops and Veterans)
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To: redrock; dansangel
I should have read through the entire thread before posting. I posted the same graphic as dansangel. Looks like we share the same sentiments :-)
58 posted on 05/25/2003 7:29:09 PM PDT by deadhead (God Bless Our Troops and Veterans)
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To: redrock
WELCOME HOME and thank you for your service; it was NOT in vain. God Bless
59 posted on 05/25/2003 8:28:01 PM PDT by DLfromthedesert
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To: redrock; SAMWolf; *all
Thank you for your service to our nation.

60 posted on 05/25/2003 9:13:21 PM PDT by Soaring Feather (Welcome Home Viet Nam Vets)
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To: redrock
Thanks for the ping.

Although not quite the same, I have been enjoying the looks on the troops' eyes here as they get word that they get to go back home.

61 posted on 05/25/2003 9:20:48 PM PDT by Eagle Eye (There ought to be a law against excessive legislation.)
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To: redrock
God knows the little girl's name...He sent her to you...

((((Hug))))

62 posted on 05/25/2003 9:42:36 PM PDT by jellybean (Not a member of the wet panties brigade)
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To: deadhead
It's a GREAT graphic....so it bears repeating...often.

redrock

63 posted on 05/25/2003 10:09:49 PM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: muggs; Washington_minuteman; Psicosis; Migjagger; gatorbait; MileHi; gg188; FletcherC.
Memorial Day........

redrock

64 posted on 05/25/2003 10:31:31 PM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: ALOHA RONNIE
Thanks for the heads up!
65 posted on 05/25/2003 10:42:06 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
Not a Nam Vet, but I've heard Dane's first CD. It's worth a listen. He's good people, and ya can't say anything better about anyone than that.

There's a warning for the PTSD folks. Ya might wanta have another brother around when ya listen to it. It ain't fancy, but it is powerful and will let ya know yer not alone.
66 posted on 05/25/2003 10:42:21 PM PDT by wrbones (Bones)
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To: jellybean
"God knows the little girl's name...He sent her to you.."

Funny thing is....I have ALWAYS believed that.

redrock

67 posted on 05/25/2003 10:45:31 PM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: redrock
Pete - this post is for you...

Peter J. Moldenhauer
LCPL - E3 - Marine Corps - Regular
19 year old Single, Caucasian, Male
Born on Jan 08, 1950
From WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
His tour of duty began on Jul 06, 1969
Casualty was on Oct 19, 1969
in QUANG NGAI, SOUTH VIETNAM
HOSTILE, GROUND CASUALTY
OTHER EXPLOSIVE DEVICE
Body was recovered
Religion
ROMAN CATHOLIC

Panel 17W - - Line 91

I will never forget you, Pete.
your old high school buddy,
Gary
68 posted on 05/26/2003 12:19:30 AM PDT by Gary Seven
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To: redrock
Thank you for these threads, redrock. Welcome home!
69 posted on 05/26/2003 12:21:26 AM PDT by Gary Seven
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To: redrock
While there is no real way to erase the disgrace of the treatment of our Vietnam vets, welcome home redrock. Thanks for the chance to say that.
70 posted on 05/26/2003 7:41:04 AM PDT by MissAmericanPie
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To: Gary Seven
Thank You....and today....I'll add Pete's name to my prayers.

redrock

71 posted on 05/26/2003 9:06:33 AM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: All
MEMORIAL DAY!!!

redrock

72 posted on 05/26/2003 9:31:23 AM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: All
MEMORIAL DAY!!!

redrock

73 posted on 05/26/2003 10:20:20 AM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: redrock
Good job, dear friend!

Welcome Home!
74 posted on 05/26/2003 10:36:50 AM PDT by blackie
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To: blackie
Thanks.

All that I can promise is that I will do my best....and that next year it will be better.

me

75 posted on 05/26/2003 5:52:59 PM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: redrock

Welcome Home, redrock, and thank you for your service to our country.

76 posted on 05/26/2003 9:01:56 PM PDT by Kathy in Alaska (God Bless America and Our Military Who Protect Her)
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To: redrock
Redrock, you are making a difference ... right now!
77 posted on 05/27/2003 8:22:32 AM PDT by blackie
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To: redrock
Don't mind at all brother, thanks for sending it and sorry it took me a while to respond.
78 posted on 05/31/2003 10:43:56 PM PDT by Heinz 57 (Yes I'm Mixed Breed but not mixed up. I am all AMERICAN and proud of it. God, I love this country)
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