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*VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff*
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Only a few days have passed since Veteran's Day 2015...looking back now, I cannot refrain from telling you about this occasion that happened to me that know, we often speak of talking to a 'supposed veteran', but in a few minutes, and being able sometimes to tell where his deployments, if any at all, had taken him...I make this strictly a masculine comparison for I've never served or visited with a woman about her serving.
I can relate this strictly to the Korean War or Vietnam war service...Why those 'glory-seekers' visit that way to a complete stranger is....well, not really disgraceful, but wanting some type of recognition...On Veteran's day I wore my Seabee it for 'recognition', if you will, and I did recieve numerous thank-yous from fellow citizens for my service...
Recently, I befriended this old fellow Donald at Home Depot...wheel chair bound, on Fridays and the week-ends, he is employeed to serve as the greeter at the contractors entrance to the store. I gave him a John's Angel at the request of another store employee who personally relates how much the Angel has meant to him...I answered Donald's very probing question about what war was like...Donald has cripped feet and was never able to serve...he asked in the most basic manner had I ever seen anyone killed...or had I ever killed anyone... Rather taken aback by this gentle persons question, I told him about my duties when in the combat zone was a defensive support function, rather than a combat one...I told him of the one time that I related to you all while back...I titled that story a few months back as :
It that early morning, 8 March 1968 at Dong Ha RVN.. Snoopy Hooch took a rocket and 3 of the troops was to die of their wounds...I told Donald how I happened to be at the field hosptial when they brought the wounded troops in on litters...I was at the sick-bay passing out some training materials for one of the corpsman when the rocket attack went down...hunkering down and waiting, another one of the corpman who was treating one of the wounded, called out to me...."CHIEF, HOLD THIS BOTTLE"...the bottle was the introvien type liquid container one sees so often when injured are being treated...I held the bottle of liquid up as the Doc had been doing and when I looked into the face of the wounded youngster, blackened and bloodied, I saw the eyes....seemed to be looking out at another dimension, if you will, and the moment of the young mans's passing, was as if a vail of cloth had been stretched over his face and eyes..I'm sure he saw something that I will see at my departing this life...
Don began to weep, shoulders heaving and making loud, sobbing sounds ....he left his post there, wheeling away in his wheel chair. I meant no harm to the poor fellow....I shan't know until I see him again...he was not there Saturday when I was in the store...Chief
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