11 November 2012

Veteran's Day

My Fantasy, Ft Bragg, 1979

His Reality, Vinh Thanh, 1967

My father sent small B&W Agfa prints home during the war. His comments from that time were written in ink. I wrote a screenplay based on his experiences in Vietnam and during a visit in the 1995, I gave him all the photos I had from Vietnam and asked if he would share any memories with me. We sat on my patio after dinner and smoked and drank. He flipped through the pictures saying little. The next morning at breakfast he returned the pictures with comments printed in pencil.


Anonymous said...

Having once been married to a Viet Nam veteran, this war is an odd reality to me. I barely remember the war... bits and pieces... but my failed marriage brought a glaring reality about a war about which I knew so little first hand... my mother's MIA bracelet. I lived with a man who woke on a regular basis with nightmares and suffered from PTSD which he thought he could cure, most unsuccessfully, with Barcardi rum. One day I open a bottom drawer filled with medals... medals of which he felt no pride. This made me cry for his lost youth.
After the war, he was a helicopter pilot in National Guard... he was so proud of the work he did with the Guard
No matter our differences, I will always be proud of my ex-husband's service to our country... he truly was a brave young man when he left for Viet Nam and a terribly scarred one when he came home.

M.Lane said...

Really a great post. You, as usual, put a unique and powerful spin on an important day.


Ben said...

Must've been a real shithole for our soldiers if they needed to have someone clean the guck out of their ears. Yet another tiny reason to be grateful for their service on our behalf.

Love the maudlin comment about Charlie, too.

Wallace Stroby said...

Obviously his sense of humor was intact.

Anonymous said...

This whole post is spooky. Sort of the anti-observation Veterans Day observation...


tintin said...

MBN- Lots being discovered about PTSD not to mention Agents Orange and Blue in Vietnam. VA continues to dodge and weave as has been their SOP.

M Lane- Thanks.

Ben- Learned a lot of tricks about heat and humidity from the old man. Sadly, while in Panama I ignored most of them and learned the hard way with a blazing case of jungle crud.

Wallace- I think you missed something in translation. That kid was killed.

DB- Maybe it's the contrarian in me but you're right.

Anonymous said...