Memorial Day 2017

We were 20 years old. Seemed old at the time, all of us had been in country long enough to be considered ‘oldtimers.’ Gary and I met in Oakland, CA while waiting for transport to Vietnam. We arrived in Vietnam on the same flight and traveled from Saigon to Phu Bai together.

Gary was the ‘elder,’ he would turn 21 in a month; Bruce had celebrated his 20th birthday just months earlier. I was the youngest of the three; having transitioned into my twenties just a couple weeks prior to the North Vietnamese initiated attacks on March 30, 1972.

Often when I think of all the things I’ve experienced and enjoyed – or not enjoyed – I am reminded of my fellow 20-year olds. We’re still 20 in my mind. While I have aged greatly, they have not.

They did not experience the last 45 years: marriage, children, grandchildren and joys, sorrows and melancholy too numerous to mention. Their loved ones have no memories of them beyond that last good-bye. When they were twenty.

On this Memorial Day, I publicly salute the Crosby and Westcott families for the sacrifice they made in 1972 and for the years of sacrifice since. I salute the memory of your son, husband, father or brother, and want you to know they are not forgotten.

At least not by this twenty-year-old.

“Any American who has ever listened to a bugler sound Taps, the last salute, whether on a green and grassy hillside, a muddy field halfway around the world, or a lonely tarmac stateside or anywhere freedom is cherished and defended, knows exactly why we set aside a special day each year to honor those who have died for our country and to pray for permanent peace.

“We do so for the sons and daughters of our land who have perished in the cause of liberty, country, and peace, the cause that has called Americans from generation to generation. We do so for the Nation that was home to these heroes and heroines, the Nation that gave them their birthright of freedom. We do so for the sacred trust they have left us, to revere, defend, and preserve all that they have revered, defended, and preserved for us.” (Ronald Reagan, President of the United States, May, 1987)

About RetiredMSG

Master Sergeant (E-8), US Army (Retired) (10/01/1990) MOS 98Z50, 98C source MOS Ft. Dix, NJ; Ft. Devens, MA; 8th RRFS Phu Bai, RVN; 407th RRD Quang Tri, RVN; 313th ASA Bn, Ft. Bragg, NC; Defense Language Institute-East Coast, Anacostia, MD; 1st USASAFS Vint Hill Farms Station, Warrenton, VA; Consolidated Security Operations Center, San Antonio, TX; HQ USASA Arlington Hall Station, Arlington, VA; Advanced Non-Commissioned Officers Education School, Ft. Devens, MA; 330th EW Avn Co (Fwd), Kaiserslautern/Gruenstadt, GE; HQ USAINSCOM Arlington Hall Station, Arlington, VA; 370th EW Co (HF DF Rear), Vint Hill Farms Station, Warrenton, VA; AFCENT Reserve Corps (Fwd), Maastricht, NL; HQ USAINSCOM Arlington Hall Station, Arlington, VA; HQ USAINSCOM Nolan Building, Ft. Belvoir, VA DoD Civilian (Retired) (12/31/2012) 2009 - 2012 Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence 2010 - 2011 U.S. Forces - Iraq/Iraqi Training and Advisory Mission - Intelligence Department of the Army Civilian 2002 - 2009 Hq Department of the Army, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence 1990 - 2002 Hq U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command
This entry was posted in combat experience, Memorial Day, Military Retiree, vietnam veterans. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Memorial Day 2017

  1. Major Robert J. Wells says:

    Ditto….. great thoughts and comments. God Speed.
    I was 32 and my son, Chris, was born on March 31, 1972. I was in a bunker at the Tri Star Compound around 0330 when the Red Cross got a message to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bob Baker says:

    Very nicely done.


  3. johnnmastro says:

    The Real Meaning of Memorial Day……


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