This is kinda long and lengthy, but take a moment to read it for Memorial Day! This is a very personal time of the year for me, I celebrate Memorial day, I don’t say “have a happy Memorial Day” To me it’s a day to remember and reflect.
Some times it brings back bad memories, but the voices of my comrades, no brothers, comfort me as I hear them saying, “It’s ok that you survived, we need some one to carry on our legacy. Remember that night in the Bar outside of NKP, we all agreed, we’d meet some day, cause we all going to Heaven, Cause we done did our time in HELL!”
While going through some old documents, I ran across this report, I’d thought I’d share:
“October 1972 North Vietnam. Two crew members of an F-4 Phantom are shot down deep in North Vietnam. Fortunately, they eject over rugged terrain and land safely away from populated areas. Unfortunately, the enemy has observed their descent, and even before the two survivors land, recovery teams are sent to intercept them. Joining up, the two men quickly size up their situation and decide to climb to higher ground to put distance between themselves and the pursuing bad guys and aid the Jollys in recovery.
The Jolly Greens, in fact, are approaching at maximum airspeed. Pararescue men Ray Stewart and Richard Wilson are on the Low Bird. It now becomes a race between them and the closing ground forces. The latter are so close to the survivors, the two men can hear the shrill signal whistles and yelping dogs. Both men race up the steep slopes driven with new energy when they hear the approaching thundering of the 40th ARRS HH-53Cs. Low Bird drives in under the protective umbrella of the Sandys. Stewart and Wilson exact tolls on the enemy forces with their mini-guns. The extraction is swift and flawless, denying the enemy the opportunity to add two more POWs to its cells in Hanoi.
I Think about those guys in my unit all 14 of them that did not come back, I honor there memory as best I can. BUT, I also remember coming home and flying through the airports in Hawaii, then California, then taken a C 141 to Dover Air Force base for some well deserved R&R. I spent those 15 days avoiding my own friends as they were anti war, and treated us as Murders of children, and the elderly! I went on to do 12 more missions. When I came home it was to sneers and Jeers.
I hid for years the fact that I had been in Viet Nam to avoid running into one of those…lets just say, stupid people. I have spent many years with the anger in my heart, towards my county men for the way Viet Nam vets have been treated! I pray every night for those wounded or killed in the wars or conflicts that followed, as well as those brave young people coming home. I am proud to see a young soldier thanked for their service, a seat given up for them.
So in writing this post I feel it’s time 34 years later to forgive our county and those who booed us upon our return. It;s time to move on. To all of those who have given the Last Full Measure, I salute you on this Memorial Day, Happy Memorial day, NA “Have a Solemn, and safe, Memorial Day, and take a second or to to just thank, or think of A VET, because if it wasn’t for them you would not even be typing on Face Book! Thank you for taking your time to read this! ~Richard Wilson~ TCRG Consultants
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