Peoplesí breath is taken away as they walk by and see the names on the wall of the ones who lost their life in Vietnam. These men and women gave their most precious thing they had to keep their country free. Each time someone walks by and looks at someoneís name on the wall, for a moment that person is remembered. A thank you is given in honor to those who give up their life. These men and women gave their all, so we may sleep in peace at night. Yes, let us pray that we will always be grateful to these folks for all they gave up for us.
But there are also others who need to be remembered. Their names arenít on the wall, but they also gave and still this day is giving their all. They are the ones who didnít fight, who still have Vietnam with them. The ones who drove the trucks, jeeps and doing others things to do their part to keep America free, the ones who also worked on these same trucks and jeeps to keep them running to be ready when the time came to use them.
There are the ones who worked behind a desk taking care of all the paperwork to make sure things got where they were suppose to be; to make sure each company ran smooth like it should. What about the cooks who fed the Americas and their friends. Then there were those who worked on the boats delivering ammo, food and other things to different parts of Vietnam. Still there were others giving their best to give all for their country.
Let us not forget the military police, who tried to keep people in line and make sure none of the wrong people got into the American compound; one of their jobs was guarding the walls looking for the enemy trying to get onto the American compound. We canít forget the doctors and medics trying to help people get home alive. The ones who flew the planes who dropped the bombs to give cover to the folks in firefights and the helicopters which carried the soldiers out of these same firefights. Each person had a very important job to do even if at the time they didnít think it was that important.
I am sure there are many I am forgetting to think about but were still a part of a war that wasnít a war, only a police action. These are the ones who also give up so much to help keep America free. Now, these folks doesnít, have their names on the wall. I wonder if anybody remembers them and all they did for America while they were over there. Some are now homeless or barely able to get a job washing dishes. There are the ones who brought the war home with them, who still fight the war within nightmares they have every night. The ones who drink or take drugs to try to forget what they have been through or what they might have seen during this non called war. How they would never talk about what they had been through in Vietnam and by not talking about it lost their families, their jobs and most of all believing who they were then not who they are now. Although, they did not fight, each one left a part of who they were in that far-off country and still carry with them the memories that still haunt them today.
Do you wonder, if maybe they have been forgotten; just swept under the rug? That no one did or ever will care about them. How they got no fanfare, no special place in Americaís heart. Do you think they still have flashbacks of all the bad names people called them when they got back home? Names like baby killer and murder. Think about how they were spit on and how maybe only a few held out a hand and said thank you. Do wonder how alone these folks must have felt, like they didnít belong to the country they had worked so hard to keep free.
Maybe even if you havenít read these names on the wall or knew all the names of the ones who have come home, maybe you can still go ahead and say thank you any way you can. Let them know that you have realized what they did for you, for their country, not for what was in it for them, but to keep free the people would ever know or see.
Yes, it does matter that people respect them for what they did and maybe a silent thank you to them every now and then, even though their names arenít on the wall. I thank each men and women for a job well done. Let the healing continue.
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