Friday, October 31, 2008

Note from a friend for my father

You, the xxx and hhh all have interesting points of Views of growing up and service [by family members] in Vietnam than I do. I just remember watching it on Walter Cronkite, and knowing some friends of my parents were serving over there. Your Dad lived and breathed it. I know it was way different than anything I can remember if that age.

In June when I was last in Saigon, (yes the locals still call Ho Chi Minh City Saigon) I walked out of the Notre Dame Cathedral ( a moving experience for a not very Methodist, Methodist) and down to the Opera House I walked a block over to a main thorough fare. As I stood on the corner and closed my eyes I could transplant every Vietnamese face with an American Face and open my eyes. In my mind I could have been standing on Canal Street! I retraced my steps. I never saw a soldier. I never saw an armed police official. I saw stores, shops, Lexus, Toyotas, Kias, and Fords. I saw people buying stuff and wearing normal clothes.

My wife's uncle did 3 tours. He was a 5'3" tall 124 lb Marine. 3 tours as a tunnel rat. I told my wife's uncle this same story. I told him 32 years after the "fall of Saigon" its damn obvious we won the war. So if you happen to talk to your dad about that time. Tell him you know this young'un in eastern NC. Tell him I have been twice. Tell him I was welcome with open arms. Tell him we won that damn war.

I went over and told my Dad. He has been doing better recently, still awake at 8:30 p.m. and very coherent. The message made him smile, though he said it was a terrible thing we were sucked into the war, he was glad that we were reconciled at the end.