“It doesn’t take a hero to order soldiers into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those who goes into battle.”
We speak of heroes so easily Yet on Veteran’s Day and every day our greatest heroes are those brave men and women who serve our nation and who have served in the past. We owe them a world of appreciation. I have my own hero and he is a man who served our nation during the Vietnam conflict He was a kid; a Brooklyn Dodger’s fan who was drafted at the height of the battle. He spent his training in South Carolina and Virginia before heading to South Vietnam to work the supply lines. He saw action in Pleiku, Dan Nang and Long Bien. He fought during the Tet Offensive and served his nation with pride and has been awarded medals for his valor. My hero is kind, compassionate, and has a sense of strength that words can never and will never fully express.
I was a child during the Vietnam War. Vietnam made me old before my time. I was a child who waited by the mailbox every day for a letter addressed to me from my hero; who signed his letters, Bobby”. I would spend endless hours reading the letters, often late night with a flashlight in my room and writing him back. I memorized the names of every town in Vietnam. While other children sought toys; I sought a copy of that day’s newspaper so that I could read about the war effort. I can still feel the same sense of excitement when we believed that we saw a glimpse of him on Bob Hope’s Christmas Special. I can still see mom, dad and I dancing around just seeing his face for a moment. It was a moment in time that I will never forget.
My hero left Brooklyn a kid and returned as a man. And in his eyes, I saw images of times that he did not care to share. I saw a sense of what war does to a person. This marks fifty years that he spent time in Vietnam. The holidays of 1967 were not easy. I cannot remember a very cold and lonely winter as we prayed to G-d for our hero.
Shame on our nation for not welcoming our Vietnam Veterans home with open arms. It took until 1985, a full ten years after the war ended that we had a ticker tape parade in New York City for these men and women. Many gave the ultimate sacrifice, many marched with missing limbs and memories that plague them to this day, many marched with tears in their eyes.
Today is Veteran’s Day…On the 11th day of the 11th hour of the 11th month, WWI ended. We celebrate all veterans, all our heroes and I have a special one who will forever be my heart. G-d bless you all.Leave a reply →