Saying Goodbye

Discussion in 'Vietnam Memories Forum' started by Guest, Mar 5, 2003.

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    hope6970
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    Posts: 190
    (5/7/01 10:51:12 pm)
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    Does anyone remember that feeling they had when they had to say goodbye to their loved ones before leaving for Vietnam?

    homer4
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    Posts: 493
    (5/8/01 6:15:29 am)
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    Yes and in a word...scared.Had the big party with family and friends a couple of days before flying to Ft Ord from Friendship Airport,what we used to call Baltimore Washington International.Of course I had my best military tough guy face for everyone.Already had some buddies come back and Donnie was still there.I was 19.
    ...and two hard boiled eggs.

    Misterstan
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    Posts: 111
    (5/8/01 8:23:10 am)
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    Being stationed at Mare Island near San Francisco at a Navy training center for small boat operators and Navy seals, I decided to volunteer for duty in Vietnam.

    First, the Navy sent me to San Diego for career counselor training, then I took a couple weeks leave to see my family back on the farm in Northwestern Minnesota.

    It had been a rainy season and even in late September many crops had not been harvested. When I was home, the weather was pretty good so I helped run one of our combines for several days to help out. I ran the Case combine that was pulled by a tractor and my Father ran the self-propelled Gleaner.

    I had never told my Father until then that I was going to Vietnam. I was the second oldest of nine children, eight boys and one girl. He and I were never really close and the best reaction you could get out of him was a hand shake.

    On the day that I was to leave for Vietnam, one of my younger brothers ran the combine that I was using. Everyone was busy harvesting when I put my seabag into the trunk of the car for the trip to the airport.

    All of a sudden I turned around to see the huge Gleaner combine pull up right into the yard. My father got down and came over to me and have me a big bear hug. He was very proud of his number two son that day!

    Stan Lambert
    St. Clair Shores, Michigan





    dap22
    Senior Chief Moderator II
    Posts: 455
    (5/8/01 8:39:35 am)
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    It was extremely difficult saying goodbye to my wife and my first born 18 month old son. I was heart sick for a long time but was comforted knowing that they were staying with my wife's parents. I also remember saying goodbye to my parents. My father was a pretty tough bird and it's the first time I'd ever seen a tear in his eye. It made me realize the enormity of what I was about to undertake I guess. I'd seen my mother cry before but very, very seldom and she lost it the day I left.......it was extremely difficult saying goodbye needless to say.

    Genog
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    Posts: 62
    (5/8/01 9:11:35 am)
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    I had just turned 18. Had just graduated from Radiomen "A" school in San Diego. It was April 1966 and I knew very little about Vietnam. I did know that I would not want to spend time there though, so I requested duty with my brother who was stationed in Norfolk, Va, figuring that was about as far a way from Nam as I could get. My orders came back stating I had gotton duty with my brother on his LST and I was to report back to San Diego after leave to catch a flight to Hononlulu and on to Subic Bay to pick up my ship which was to spend the next 2 or 3 years in the Mekong Delta.
    My mom was terrified, as she had a better idea of what was happening there then I did. When I was ready to board a plane at the airport to leave, I thought everyone was giving me an extra hug. My girlfriend had tears in her eyes, leaving me to believe she was really gonna miss my sorry ass. That unfortunately was not the case. She couldn't wait 13 months for me. She dumped me halfway through my tour. I was crushed, but got over it knowing that someday I would issue her a payback. That's another story.

    Geno G

    Mithrandir
    Member
    Posts: 19
    (5/8/01 12:16:37 pm)
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    sorry guys...

    these memories are still locked in a box in the basement....


    can't go into it right now...



    out


    Edited by: Mithrandir at: 5/8/01 1:16:59 pm

    longshot1
    Member
    Posts: 12
    (5/8/01 1:08:54 pm)
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    As hard as I try, I can not remember any of it.
    Maybe that's a good thing.

    NickG

    Edited by: longshot1 at: 5/8/01 2:12:42 pm

    Indybear57
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    Posts: 264
    (5/8/01 2:51:34 pm)
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    Mith,

    If and when you're ever ready, we're here.

    Mike L

    gene29223
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    Posts: 96
    (5/9/01 9:48:59 am)
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    This ties in with my "Looking Back" post. Once I got to Columbia while on leave it was visiting with all the old family friends, picknics and BBQ's. Easy and fun at first, more and more somber as the time to leave neared. The only father I ever knew was my step dad. He had married my Mom after WWII in Germany, adopted me and I proudly carry his last name. He stayed in the Army for thirty years as an enlisted man, was on orders for his E9 but attached was the orders for Vietnam. He told the Army, "no thank you, I've done my time. I've got five more boys at home that we need to get through school." Was the right decision for the family, so they sent me instead. He was proud that I had caught up to him just before he made his E-8 we were both E-7s for a very short time. He and I had never talked much about "Army Stuff" and never about his War years, he was a grunt, then tanker with Patton. My last night at home, he says "Don't be a hero, keep your head and ass down." That was the very first time I ever saw tears in that man's eyes. Mom was a mess, my brothers didn't have a clue. Was really hard to let go and now a scene from last nights Jag episode comes to mind this morning. The Admiral tells Harm not to look back as they are boarding an aircraft. I couldn't look back then either - was afriad I won't go if I did, more afraid that I'd embarass myself and the family or let Dad down. Seems kind of funny now, after I returned, Dad and I talked a lot more Army and I learned a lot more of what he went through. Guess thats part of this "brotherhood/sisterhood" of war vets. Can't really talk to someone who hasn't been there.

    You all take care, Gene
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