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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 all my Brothers who served in Vietnam......"WELCOME HOME!!!"

redrock

1 posted on 05/24/2003 9:37:21 PM PDT by redrock
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To: illstillbe; AuntB; Jeff Head; Luis Gonzalez; William Wallace; Jim Robinson; Valin
This one's VERY personal...hope you don't mind.

redrock

2 posted on 05/24/2003 9:38:56 PM PDT by redrock (Ok...so I'm a kinda stubborn...)
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To: SSgt Mike; M Kehoe; TLBSHOW; nunya bidness; GrandmaC; blackie; McGavin999; sauropod
This one's a little personal...hope you don't mind.

redrock

3 posted on 05/24/2003 9:39:46 PM PDT by redrock (Ok...so I'm a kinda stubborn...)
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To: JohnHuang2; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; SAMWolf; Chapita; VOA
This one's a little personal...hope you don't mind.

redrock

4 posted on 05/24/2003 9:41:25 PM PDT by redrock (Ok...so I'm a kinda stubborn...)
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To: annyokie; cavtrooper21; Kathy in Alaska; WarHawk42; Howlin; Publius6961; Bloody Sam Roberts
This ones kinda personal...hope you don't mind.

redrock

5 posted on 05/24/2003 9:42:22 PM PDT by redrock (Ok...so I'm a kinda stubborn...)
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To: redrock

'Rolling Thunder' bikers pay tribute to America's war dead and to M-I-A's
during a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the The bikers' annual 'Freedom Ride' Memorial Day tribute known as 'Rolling Thunder' is traditionally attended by tens of thousands,
and is scheduled to roll from the Pentagon (news - web sites) to the National Mall Sunday morning.
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)


6 posted on 05/24/2003 9:43:26 PM PDT by hole_n_one
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To: redrock
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"

Same thing happened to me this morning. I was out grocery shopping and a couple of VFW reps were handing out American flag pins in front of the entrance.

They asked me the same question (I look my age, you see). And came up with the same reply.

No better medicine. . .

7 posted on 05/24/2003 9:44:43 PM PDT by Euro-American Scum
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To: ladyinred; Heinz 57; noutopia; mystery-ak; Molly Pitcher; JDoutrider; harpo11; ATOMIC_PUNK; ...
This one's kinda personal....hope you don't mind.

redrock

8 posted on 05/24/2003 9:45:10 PM PDT by redrock (Ok...so I'm a kinda stubborn...)
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To: American Preservative; Jefferson Adams; TexanaRED; fod; First_Salute; TAdams8591; Mare; DeSoto
This one's a little personal....hope you don't mind.

redrock

9 posted on 05/24/2003 9:47:10 PM PDT by redrock (Ok...so I'm a kinda stubborn...)
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To: redrock
Don't mind at all Redrock.

Welcome Home, brother.
10 posted on 05/24/2003 9:50:41 PM PDT by SAMWolf (Never hit a man with glasses; hit him with your fist.)
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To: SAMWolf
Thanks my Brother.

Welcome Home!!!!

redrock

11 posted on 05/24/2003 9:54:20 PM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: flanew; JimmyT; arcane; ALOHA RONNIE; A Navy Vet; First_Salute; B4Ranch; RaceBannon
This ones a little personal...hope you don't mind.

redrock

12 posted on 05/24/2003 9:56:30 PM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: redrock
I also enlited when I was 17, in the Navy.
I also remained quiet for decades after I returned.
My time to talk happened about 10 years ago.
A history professor at a local college was seeking
Viet Nam Vets to speak to his class.
I almost did not go, but felt that I had to.
I had to speak for those who died and those who were left behind.
It was a life changing experience for me.
Welcome Home Brothers and Sisters.

PS I was sent notice of this site this week.
Welcome Home Bro !!
13 posted on 05/24/2003 9:56:33 PM PDT by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub (Welcome Home Brothers and Sisters)
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To: redrock; All

14 posted on 05/24/2003 10:02:03 PM PDT by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub (Never Forget!)
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To: dcwusmc; Eagle Eye; NWU Army ROTC; Victoria Delsoul; Rockyrich; Libertarianize the GOP
This one's kinda personal...hope you don't mind.

redrock

15 posted on 05/24/2003 10:04:40 PM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
Nice website!!!

Thanks....and BTW....WELCOME HOME!!

me

16 posted on 05/24/2003 10:07:20 PM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: carlo3b; farmfriend; SierraWasp; Grampa Dave; cavtrooper21; Miss Marple
This one's kinda personal...hope you don't mind.

redrock

17 posted on 05/24/2003 10:08:51 PM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: buffyt; Susannah; DLfromthedesert; kattracks; Brian S; MeeknMing; Brian Allen; diegodeigh; ...
This one's a little personal...hope you don't mind.

redrock

18 posted on 05/24/2003 10:24:47 PM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: Alamo-Girl; AppyPappy; Huck; spectre; RockTheLurker; MamaB; HiJinx; Brad's Gramma
This one's a little personal...hope you don't mind.

redrock

19 posted on 05/24/2003 10:33:31 PM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: redrock
This one's kinda personal...hope you don't mind.

Stories like this are what makes America the Greatest country in history..Thank you so much for sharing this..it's now personal to all of us.

20 posted on 05/24/2003 10:34:37 PM PDT by carlo3b (http://www.CookingWithCarlo.com)
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To: redrock
Oh Redrock, and ALL you Vets...a THANK YOU and an opened arms Welcome Home.

Don't EVER apologize....never ever ever.
21 posted on 05/24/2003 10:50:19 PM PDT by Brad’s Gramma
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To: redrock
Beautifully written!

Thank you for sharing.

God bless you. ... And, also: Welcome home!
22 posted on 05/24/2003 10:59:37 PM PDT by Fawnn (I think therefore I'm halfway there....)
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To: redrock
Thank you for sharing that, redrock. I wrote to two soldiers in Vietnam and I am ashamed of how most Americans treated our returning brave men.

The following letter was copied from this website>
http://home.earthlink.net/~dearvietnamveteran/dearvietvet5_002.htm

Dear Vietnam Veteran,

I know I should have written much sooner.
I can't say why I did not. Out of fear of admitting to myself you were there, fighting a war. Or maybe ashamed...ashamed that I never accepted the things you felt
you had to do. Whatever it is, I know how it must hurt. Believe me when I say it hurts me more. I have the burden of your hurt plus that of my own...the pain of not
being able to show my true feeling towards you.

I am not writing this for the months you served in Vietnam, but for the many years you were left alone with only your brother Veterans. You served proudly and it went unmentioned.

For a long time I've wanted to express the words an honorable Veteran needs to hear. For a long time I've wanted to hold you during your times of pain. God knows I wanted to. And only He knows why I never found the courage. I do not remember what I used to say...maybe I do not want to remember. All I know is I hope that it is not too late to give you those things now.

For years you tried to be part of my world; doing everything to please me, just to be noticed and given a little time and understanding.

I look back and see the demands I placed on your shoulders when you were young. "Fight your weakness and always show strength to others around you."
Who was I to make such a demand?

I sit here with tears in my heart, finally admitting to myself the one weakness you must have seen in me and never questioned: my inabilitly to say the words that I know would have meant so much to you..."WELCOME HOME! You served your country honorably." Please hear these words now, from my heart. Please give me a chance to be part of your world now. The world I should have been part of long ago.

23 posted on 05/25/2003 3:12:28 AM PDT by Susannah (If you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao; you ain't gonna make it with anyone, anyhow. ~ Beatles)
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To: redrock
Welcome home.........................and thank you.
24 posted on 05/25/2003 3:34:45 AM PDT by Focault's Pendulum (Living under a rock is looking better every day.)
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To: redrock
...hope you don't mind.

Not in the least. Not one whit.

Welcome home.

25 posted on 05/25/2003 4:18:59 AM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (®)
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; ALOHA RONNIE
Meomorial Day Thank You for Your Service . It was NOT in vain. God Bless You.
26 posted on 05/25/2003 5:24:25 AM PDT by DLfromthedesert
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To: redrock; buffyt
Thank you redrock.

Welcome Home!

To continue the Pat Conroy article "The Man I Should Have Been" from yesterday....It was 1972, and Conroy was protesting, while Al Kroboth was a prisoner of the Viet Cong.....

~~~~~~

In the meantime, Al and his captors had finally arrived in the North; the Viet Cong traded him to North Vietnamese soldiers for the final leg of the trip to Hanoi. Many times when they stopped to rest, local villagers tried to kill him.

His captors wired his hands behind his back, so he trained himself to sleep in the center of huts when the villagers began sticking knives and bayonets into the thin walls. Following the U.S. air raids, old women would come into the huts to excrete on him and yank out hunks of his hair.

After the nightmare journey of his walk, Al was relieved when his guards finally delivered him to the POW camp in Hanoi, and the cell door locked behind him.

At the camp Al began to die. He threw up every meal and was misidentified as the prison's oldest American soldier because his appearance was so skeletal.

But the extraordinary camaraderies among fellow prisoners caught fire in Al, and did so in time to save his life.

While I was demonstrating in America against Nixon and the Christmas bombings in Hanoi, Al and his fellow prisoners were holding hands under the full fury of those bombings, singing "God Bless America." It was those bombs that convinced Hanoi they would do well to release the American POWs, including my college teammate.

When he told me about the C-141 landing to pick up the prisoners, Al said he felt no emotion, none at all, untill he saw the American flag painted on the plane's tail.

I stopped writing as Al wept over the memory of that flag on that plane, during that time in the life of America.

That same long night, after listening to Al's story, I began to make judgments about my conduct during the Vietnam War.

In the darkness of the sleeping Kroboth household, lying in the third-floor guest bedroom, I began to assess my role as a citizen in the '60s, when my country called my name and I shot her the bird.

~~~~~~~~~

To be continued here tomorrow.....

27 posted on 05/25/2003 5:54:19 AM PDT by Molly Pitcher (Is Reality Optional?)
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To: redrock
This is so beautiful. Thank you. God Bless
28 posted on 05/25/2003 6:29:52 AM PDT by StAthanasiustheGreat (Vocatus Atque Non Vocatus Deus Aderit)
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To: Brad's Gramma
Thank You.....

redrock

29 posted on 05/25/2003 7:10:06 AM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: forest; jellybean; Benighted; F-117A; vetwife; DoughtyOne; AlligatorEyes; PoisedWoman
This one's a little personal....hope you don't mind.

redrock

30 posted on 05/25/2003 7:14:58 AM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: kattracks; Brian S; MeeknMing; Brian Allen; diegodeigh; AKbear; exit82; Sunshine Sister
This one's a little personal.........hope you don't mind.

redrock

31 posted on 05/25/2003 7:18:01 AM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: Molly Pitcher
Excellent story....keep 'em comin'.

redrock

32 posted on 05/25/2003 7:19:15 AM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: Euro-American Scum
"No better medicine. . ."

Just 2 little words...can make all the difference in the world.

redrock

33 posted on 05/25/2003 7:22:58 AM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: redrock
I'm so glad you posted this. The way Americans treated our men and women returning home from Vietnam was shameful.

"Welcome home" is what I've been saying for years to every Vietnam Vet I meet. It's good to know the words may have helped.

Welcome home! And, thank you for serving.
34 posted on 05/25/2003 7:24:45 AM PDT by Right_in_Virginia
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To: redrock
Redrock, it's moving, powerful and very appropriate!

Thanks brother ...we love you!

Molon Labe!
35 posted on 05/25/2003 8:08:47 AM PDT by blackie
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To: redrock; Joy Angela; conservogirl; Ragtime Cowgirl; Alamo-Girl; Fred Mertz; LadyX; JLO
NEVER FORGET


T'was:

HILLARY RODHAM
WALTER CRONKITE
BILL CLINTON
JOHN KERRY

...who fought against FREEDOM and US during the Vietnam War.

...All 4 of them are now involved in putting 1 of their own into our Oval Office in a new -Time of War- in a new Century...

...with an Enemy that is now...

...just around the corner...

...and up your street.


Voter BEWARE.


Signed:..ALOHA RONNIE Guyer / Vet-U.S. 7th Cavalry's Opening Days of the Vietnam War 1965-66

http://www.lzxray.com/guyer_collection
(Photos)


NEVER FORGET
36 posted on 05/25/2003 9:20:20 AM PDT by ALOHA RONNIE (Vet-Battle of IA DRANG-1965 www.LZXRAY.com..)
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To: redrock

37 posted on 05/25/2003 9:37:16 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP (Bu-bye Dixie Chimps! / Check out my Freeper site !: http://home.attbi.com/~freeper/wsb/index.html)
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To: redrock; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; ALOHA RONNIE
Thank you for your service, redrock...and for sharing your story. Your courage and sacrifice inspired a whole new generation to rise up against those who slandered you in the 60s and 70s.

Welcome home, guys!

We will not forget.


Excerpts from Stolen Valor: How The Vietnam Generation Was Robbed Of its Heroes And its History by B.G. Burkett & Glenna Whitley :

*Part I - Rambo and the Bogus War Heroes 
* Part II - Welcome Home, Babykiller 
* Part III - Will the Real Vietnam Vet Stand Up? 
* Part VI - The VVA - The Vietnam Victims of America


38 posted on 05/25/2003 10:24:35 AM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl (There will be no homecoming on this Earth for those lost in battle-this reunion will come. Pres.Bush)
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To: redrock
Don't mind a bit--now, please turn away while I wipe the tears from my eyes,friend.
39 posted on 05/25/2003 11:18:25 AM PDT by exit82
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To: redrock
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.

Hoping the scars heal soon and the walls are lowered a bit more. We all remember or have heard the anti's version. We'd like to hear the real story. Too few are willing to do it...

Welcome Home!

40 posted on 05/25/2003 11:20:27 AM PDT by jellybean (Not a member of the wet panties brigade)
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To: redrock
Don't mind at all. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.


41 posted on 05/25/2003 12:22:52 PM PDT by Victoria Delsoul
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To: blackie
To be honest with ya...writing this was one of the most difficult things I have EVER done. Took me over 3 months to complete.......but I felt I needed to get it out.

Thanks my friend.

me

42 posted on 05/25/2003 1:57:58 PM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: ALOHA RONNIE
NEVER (ever-ever-ever) FORGET!!!!!

redrock

43 posted on 05/25/2003 1:59:06 PM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Thanks for all that YOU have done with the articles you post.

redrock

44 posted on 05/25/2003 2:08:42 PM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: All
MEMORIAL DAY 2003--#1--"My Daddy's Finally Home..."-- HERE

MEMORIAL DAY 2003-#2--"The Lesson's of Danny Flynn, Corey DePooter, Billy Scott & Earl Brown"-- HERE

MEMORIAL DAY 2003--#3--"I Came to See My Son's Name"- HERE

45 posted on 05/25/2003 2:25:18 PM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: jellybean
I'll probably never know that little girls name....but I owe her my life..because just those 2 words caused the walls to fall....and even tho the wounds sometimes still hurt....It's a hurt I can take.

Just because someone said..."Welcome Home"....

redrock

46 posted on 05/25/2003 2:32:07 PM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: redrock
MEMORIAL DAY.....it IS about saying "Thank You!!".

redrock

47 posted on 05/25/2003 2:43:12 PM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: redrock
Welcome home FRiend.

5.56mm

48 posted on 05/25/2003 4:24:46 PM PDT by M Kehoe
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To: redrock
...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"



Too often the child sees what the "grown-ups" can't or won't.

Matthew 21: 16 (KJV)
And (they) said unto him, Hearest thou what these say?
And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read,
Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?
49 posted on 05/25/2003 5:04:09 PM PDT by VOA
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To: redrock
Thank you, God bless you, and Welcome Home!
50 posted on 05/25/2003 5:29:31 PM PDT by LuvyaDubya
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