OT Memorial Day - the faces come back

Discussion in 'BWI / McAndrew Board' started by m48tank, May 27, 2018.

  1. m48tank

    m48tank Well-Known Member
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    Normally I handle things well, but tonight the faces are all coming back to me. I finally broke down tonight. I'm not looking for sympathy, just understanding I guess. The faces of friends who never got to experience life as I have. It's "peanuts" who I yelled at for having his puppy piss on the front fender of my tank and he died two days later bleeding out from a hit to the femoral artery because it was a hot LZ and raining like only it can in Viet Nam. Or "John Wayne" Kane the bravest man I knew.
    Maybe it was Sar' Hunter a black man and fellow tank commander who I shared many a time the last Camel in the pack and the last swig of warm Falstaff. He died four days from DEROS and all that was left were his boots.

    Thanks for letting me unburden my soul on this Memorial Day eve. I'm having a real tough time tonight - my wife just came home from surgery and my last Irish Wolfhound is on his last journey.
    Thanks again for you indulgence and IT'S always the faces which haunt me!!
     
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  2. PeetzPoolBoy

    PeetzPoolBoy Well-Known Member
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    I not only thank you for your service and sacrifice, but I will also be thinking about you tomorrow. “Life” can throw us all curveballs, but I am confident that you and family will prevail.
     
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  3. m48tank

    m48tank Well-Known Member
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    Thanks so much. I'm normally good but I guess tonight got to me. It's the faces, as I said, why did I come home and they didn't??
     
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  4. fairgambit

    fairgambit Well-Known Member
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    Your words come from your heart and your soul. I have little to offer in reply other than a prayer that God will grant you peace and your friends eternal rest.
     
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  5. mrtailgate

    mrtailgate Well-Known Member
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    God bless you. You were young and placed in a horrible situation. Thanks to you and your fellow servicemen.
     
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  6. roswelllion

    roswelllion Well-Known Member
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    Tank,
    You never know why. Last week I played golf with my brother in law. He was limping and he said it all started when he was being dropped by a helicopter in Vietnam and the rope was too short and he fell and hurt his back and ankle. 4 days later he is in the infirmary and 22 guys in his platoon are killed. Almost 50 years now and he he still wonders why?
     
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  7. Aloha T

    Aloha T Well-Known Member
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    Tank
    Words seem insufficient to soothe your troubled heart...Thank you and God bless you!
     
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  8. m48tank

    m48tank Well-Known Member
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    I can sympathize with him. You never know why and that's the most haunting part. Why did I get to raise a family and enjoy the love of a good woman and have some success and they did not. It's just tonight I guess, but being in my 73rd year it's closer to home than normal. It just seems that the faces are so clear tonight. There were many more who come to mind and I face tonight but I wanted to share a few of the special ones.
     
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  9. Player2BNamedL8r

    Player2BNamedL8r Well-Known Member
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    A grateful nation thanks you and wishes you peace of mind, heart, and spirit.
     
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  10. m48tank

    m48tank Well-Known Member
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    I'm a little embarrassed by this. I'm usually stronger, but tonight for some reason the faces became too strong for me to handle and I leaned on the friends on this board for support and you all come through for me.
    Thanks, and I'll handle it better in the future. Just too many faces tonight!!
     
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  11. Player2BNamedL8r

    Player2BNamedL8r Well-Known Member
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    Nothing you’ve said or done tonight diminishes your strength. Humility is nothing to be ashamed of.
     
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  12. pointingdogsrule

    pointingdogsrule Well-Known Member
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  13. odshowtime

    odshowtime Well-Known Member
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    Tank, you have to keep carrying this burden for us. We are thankful.
     
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  14. Nit Nolte

    Nit Nolte Well-Known Member
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    Tank, I wish I had a magic sentence that would ease your burden. Of course, I don't. Thank you for your service and for reminding us what this day is about.
    I just missed the draft but am old enough to remember the treatment that a lot of Vietnam vets received and it sickens me to this day.
     
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  15. bwifan

    bwifan Well-Known Member
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    Thank You so much for serving. May they all rest in peace. Just remebering them honors their legacy. Was reading an article last night about what it seems you have called "survivors guilt". Many servicemen are experiencing it today. If need be go talk to someone at the VA. You are not alone in what you are feeling and many struggle with it. Thank you again for all your service.
     
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  16. Keyser Soze 16801

    Keyser Soze 16801 Well-Known Member
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    God bless you, m48tank. No one should have to endure what you have
     
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  17. m48tank

    m48tank Well-Known Member
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    Thanks so much for all your support - it means a lot. My wife is up walking today and so am I. I guess I was feeling sorry for myself and it just got to me. That's not normal and I'm a little embarrassed, but your support means sooo much!
     
  18. MtNittany

    MtNittany Well-Known Member
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    We're all with you tank. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
     
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  19. PSU65

    PSU65 Well-Known Member
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    Just so sad. Thanks for your service.
     
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  20. Connorpozlee

    Connorpozlee Well-Known Member
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    First off, thank you for your service. On a day that many of us treat as just a day off from work (myself included) you have provided me with some much needed perspective. Thank you for that. I can’t even begin to imagine the mental anguish war can leave the survivors with.
    That said, you have done a great thing for yourself by reaching out and sharing your thoughts. Whether it be here or a more formal setting, sharing your pain is the best way through it. Understand that when we tell you that we thank you for your service it is not just a hollow, mindless statement. It is said with sincerity and reverence. You put your life on the line and you can’t be thanked enough for that.
     
    20 Connorpozlee, May 28, 2018
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
  21. Ranger Dan

    Ranger Dan Well-Known Member
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    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, even if they aren’t pleasant. This serves as a reminder for what Memorial Day is all about: those who didn’t come home.
     
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  22. NedFromYork

    NedFromYork Well-Known Member
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    Because you have more left to do.
     
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  23. Nittany Ziggy

    Nittany Ziggy Well-Known Member
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    That’s a great post!
    To the tank: Thanks for your service and for capturing/sharing some very vivid memories about sharing a Camel or a swig of Falstaff with your mates. Memorial Day is for remembrance. You did so in a classy way and with a group of people who care!
     
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  24. psu1969a

    psu1969a Well-Known Member
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    Thank you and all veterans for their service.
     
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  25. gregoryj95

    gregoryj95 Well-Known Member
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    Tank you honor their memory, and all of us here today, by telling us about them. No idea why you made it back and they did not. Maybe there is not a reason. You deserved to live, though. They did too.

    You're a good man, and I'm so sorry that you have to carry this grief with you. Thank you for taking this hurt on behalf of the rest of us. To you and all of your brothers in arms; those that made it and those that did not. Love you, brother.
     
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  26. emrtmakesshiteup

    emrtmakesshiteup Well-Known Member
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    Completely understand your "why not me?" For whatever reason, for the first time in 48 years I decided to look for Sgt. Sanchez on the wall. I didn't even know his first name. As our casualties mounted on Shakey's Hill, our platoon leaders were down to sergeants. As I handed him the hand set, he was hit in the head, a moment later, well never mind! Please honor him! Inserted link does not seem to be working. So...http://www.virtualwall.org/ds/SanchezJS01a.htm
     
  27. mj1962

    mj1962 Well-Known Member
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    H
    Hang in there soldier you will make it all of us are behind you and thank you
     
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  28. m48tank

    m48tank Well-Known Member
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    Thanks, it was hard but it helped.
     
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  29. ByGrace

    ByGrace Well-Known Member
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    It was 1961-62, while one day as my uncle, Verne Henry Jackson,Jr., and I were pitching a ball back and forth he mentioned how lucky we were for our freedom to be feeling well and being free on a beautiful Pennsylvania afternoon. He surprised me when suddenly he told me of how lucky he felt based on his wartime moment that saw him spared by fate while serving as an Air Force electrician in North Africa. His buddy and he were working on telegraph poles taking turns in alternating poles. It was his buddy" turn to climb and moments later His buddy was shot dead off the pole before my uncles eyes. He was forever left to wonder why it was his good fortune to be playing ball that afternoon and his partner was left to be one of near countless statistics of war. My uncle had tears in his eyes as he recited the story to me, his pain was obvious even after the 16-17 years of remembering. And now once again today it was my turn to feel his grief and dealing with how in a brief moment, fate had changed his life forever. It was, and it is a life-lesson, in my life to this very day.
     
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  30. demlion

    demlion Well-Known Member
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    Thank you for your service. We don't always get to know why, do we? My grandma said that when you remember these folks who have gone on before, you bring them back. They live again. Its uncomfortable, but facing those memories means they are not gone.

    You were lucky, but so were they. They had you to remember them.
     
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