Thursday, May 28, 2009

Flashback to Viet Nam

This post is so out of character for me because I've avoided all attention to my year in Viet Nam, for no reason other than it was something had to be done then and others are doing it now in other places. There was a lot of talk back then about returnees experiencing flashbacks, and now I'm wondering if Cheryl's O.S. has any.

I've had only two, in my minds eye. The first was my first weekend back and taking a nap on the sofa before lunch on a Saturday. My former wife was making lunch when the monthly test of the disaster horns were tested in Des Moines. Hearing a commotion from me, she saw me wake and dive under the kitchen table. Its funnier now.

The second was twenty years later. I was working in an office building and walking down a hallway. Walking ahead of me was a gal, with short blonde hair, I worked who that day was wearing a matching loose fitting top and pants made of black silk. For what seemed much longer than the few moments it lasted I was back in Viet Nam walking through the cities and riding helicopters delivering radio equipment to fire bases.

I wouldn't have mentioned any of this, but for last night I found myself sitting on my bed holding an AR-15 rifle, the Viet Nam era assault weapon. All of the memories came back...the rocket attacks, the "interesting" helicopter rides, visiting the local orphanage, playing frisbee in a typhoon, walking on a white sandy beach...all that I haven't thought of until last night.

My youngest son needed money so he brought the weapon to "Dad's Pawn Shop, Laundromat, and Car Care Center". Its sitting in my gun rack now, looking quite ugly standing next to the traditional rifles and shotguns.


  1. Yep, though the pressure is on now. I don't have cute kids like you, Heather, Ea, Steph, or Mandy to divert attention to my sometimes lacking writing skills.

  2. I like this much, much better than Facebook. I'm glad you put it back up. And THANKS for sharing about your experiences as a Veteran. Mere words cannot possibly express the gratitude of those of us that have benefited from your courage. What a horrible, horrible place that must have been. Cheryl

  3. My dad was in Nam and I know some of what he went through and it hasn't been heart is with you and all who have served, thank you.

  4. glad you are back! sorry it took so long to get here! Great post!