Friday, June 25, 2010


I recently spoke with a friend from back in the day. He looked at my blog site and we talked about a lot of things. I think we were in a contest to see who could hold back the emotion the longest. Seems he went to drugs while I went to alcohol but there were a lot of similarities in our lives. We have agreed to keep in touch and maybe even look up others for a reunion.

He also reminded me that my favorite song "in country" was "The Sounds Of Silence." I had a reel to reel tape recorder and every night we all lay in our bunks listening to Simon and Garfunkel. He told me how I would play it over and over.

The words as I recall were ---

"Hello darkness, my old friend - I've come to talk with you again - Because a vision softly creeping - Left its seeds while I was sleeping - And the vision that was planted in my brain - Still remains - Within the sound of silence."

Now that I think back I realize these words were not only poetic but prophetic.

Not only were my thoughts and memories hidden in the darkness of my mind, the darkness was a blessing in disguise since I could hide from life in it. I have always felt safer in the darkness and even hated it when a flare was lit. To this day I find myself moving, at night, from shadow to shadow so I can remain undetected. Perhaps that is how I have lived my life. Moving from one shadow to another.

Each time I went back to Dong Tam I slept in the NCO barracks. Every night I could hear what I thought to be a Front Loader working down by the docks. For some reason whoever was operating the machine would stop and turn off the engine just before a rocket attack even before the siren sounded. It happened so many times that I would be cognoscente of the absence of sound even in my sleep and would come fully awake and sprint to the bunker. V. Veterans seem to have a common reaction and that is to not fully go to sleep and always wake around 3AM

When I came back we lived in a duplex close to the volunteer fire department. They would sound the siren to summon volunteers to the department when there was a fire. I seem to remember being asleep next to my wife when the siren sounded. In my foggy memory I think I jumped from the bed and ran smack into the apartment wall.

I also seem to remember my brother meeting me at the airport and taking me to the apartment. My wife was there in a, well, never mind. My oldest daughter was at her grandparents and my youngest asleep in her crib. I seem to remember having to see her right away or my wife taking me into see her and being torn between waking her up to hold her and holding my wife. I think the wife won that one. Most soldiers live for there children. I wonder how many faced the same memory.

I can see now that there are good memories if I will just let them in.



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69 years old married 20 YEARS. Have a boy 21 and girl 19 plus two grown daughters and 3 Grandchildren. Served in Vietman. Combat wounded.In country 3 times. longest tour 8 months. Rated as totally disabled from injuries and PTSD. Friend of Bill W.

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