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Old 05-23-2020, 10:35 AM
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PALADIN85020 PALADIN85020 is offline
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Default ON MEMORIAL DAY...

It's with regret that I will not visit the Arizona Vietnam Memorial on Memorial Day this year - I also usually take a former boyhood neighbor lady, the widow of a WWII combat veteran, to visit her husband's grave. The risk to her from the corona virus is just too great - she's 94 years old. I usually lay a rose at the memorial beneath the names of two close friends who lost their lives in Vietnam.

I remember them with sadness and great pride - our country should be grateful that such men were available, standing ready to give their lives for us all.



This is 1/LT Ed Cribb, U.S. Army. Ed was a buddy of mine during high school, and we both served as ROTC cadet officers then. Ed didn't have much of a family. His dad was a drunk, among other things. He never had much money, but worked his way through one year of college. With a continuing interest in the military, he joined the Army as an enlisted man. The last time I saw him he was in uniform visiting Phoenix, and we lifted some glasses together and reminisced a lot.

Ed was accepted to Officer's Candidate School, and was commissioned as a Second Lt. He then volunteered to join the Army's air branch and qualified at Fort Rucker as both a helicopter and fixed-wing pilot. At that time he became married and fathered a daughter. He went to Vietnam, piloting twin-engine Mohawk observation planes. He was shot down by ground fire once, and parachuted onto a sand spit in the middle of a river. His only armament was his .45 pistol. After several days, he was rescued, his body covered with leeches.

He returned home for a short spell, and then volunteered for a second tour in Vietnam. Fate was not kind to him - he was again shot down by ground fire, but this time he was too close to the ground for his chute to open. He hit the ground hard; it broke his back in 3 places, and he died an agonizing death.

Ed left his wife, a daughter, and a son he never knew. He died in the late summer of 1964, age 25.



And this is Air Force Captain Charles "Chuck" Walling. I first met him in college, where we became fraternity brothers. Chuck loved to fly, and after graduation from college, he was commissioned and qualified to fly F4 Phantoms. He was sent to Vietnam, and volunteered for many successive missions over enemy territory. His plane was shot down, and his body was not recovered.

In recent years, U.S. teams visited the scene of his fatal crash, and found some bones which were DNA tested. They proved that they had found Chuck's remains. His body was first returned to Arizona where his family was able to see the casket. Chuck had a son that I first met at this time. He was Chuck's spitting image. I did a double take when I first saw him.

He accompanied his father's casket with the Air Force funeral escort to Arlington, where Chuck's last remains now rest.

I thought I'd share these two stories with you as we celebrate Memorial Day. For these two men and countless other people who gave the last full measure of devotion to our country, we will be forever grateful. Please never forget the fallen.

John
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Last edited by PALADIN85020; 05-23-2020 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:53 PM
Rudi Rudi is online now
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May God bless your friends, and all the others as well. Rest in Peace.
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:58 PM
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Thank you for sharing. So sorry for your loss.

God Bless our military men and women and first responders.
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:59 PM
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My son is named for a buddy on the wall..bootcamp and ITR together...All Gave Some ...Some Gave All...Semper Fi, brothers and sisters of all services.. or as Marines of this era were prone to say, “Simply Forgotus”!
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:42 PM
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Default Facing It

Facing It
BY YUSEF KOMUNYAKAA

My black face fades,
hiding inside the black granite.
I said I wouldn't
dammit: No tears.
I'm stone. I'm flesh.
My clouded reflection eyes me
like a bird of prey, the profile of night
slanted against morning. I turn
this way—the stone lets me go.
I turn that way—I'm inside
the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
again, depending on the light
to make a difference.
I go down the 58,022 names,
half-expecting to find
my own in letters like smoke.
I touch the name Andrew Johnson;
I see the booby trap's white flash.
Names shimmer on a woman's blouse
but when she walks away
the names stay on the wall.
Brushstrokes flash, a red bird's
wings cutting across my stare.
The sky. A plane in the sky.
A white vet's image floats
closer to me, then his pale eyes
look through mine. I'm a window.
He's lost his right arm
inside the stone. In the black mirror
a woman’s trying to erase names:
No, she's brushing a boy's hair.
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6518John View Post
Facing It
BY YUSEF KOMUNYAKAA

My black face fades,
hiding inside the black granite.
I said I wouldn't
dammit: No tears.
I'm stone. I'm flesh.
My clouded reflection eyes me
like a bird of prey, the profile of night
slanted against morning. I turn
this way—the stone lets me go.
I turn that way—I'm inside
the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
again, depending on the light
to make a difference.
I go down the 58,022 names,
half-expecting to find
my own in letters like smoke.
I touch the name Andrew Johnson;
I see the booby trap's white flash.
Names shimmer on a woman's blouse
but when she walks away
the names stay on the wall.
Brushstrokes flash, a red bird's
wings cutting across my stare.
The sky. A plane in the sky.
A white vet's image floats
closer to me, then his pale eyes
look through mine. I'm a window.
He's lost his right arm
inside the stone. In the black mirror
a woman’s trying to erase names:
No, she's brushing a boy's hair.
Been there. Felt that.

John


Reflection at the Wall
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Last edited by PALADIN85020; 05-23-2020 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 05-23-2020, 04:14 PM
ancient-one ancient-one is offline
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Their have been so many, in the History of our great Nation, whose lives have been lost or destroyed in foreign lands. I sometimes question if all of our involvements were and are necessary to our Nation's security. May God bless all of those, along with their family's, who have paid the price.
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Last edited by ancient-one; 05-23-2020 at 07:44 PM. Reason: add word and correct spelling
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Old 05-23-2020, 04:28 PM
Krogen Krogen is offline
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Thanks for sharing that, Paladin. They're gone, and they went out serving all of us. Thanks to them for giving all. I won't forget those who paid our way.

I lost a cousin a few weeks ago. Marine Corps, Vietnam. He never talked about it. He was given a lot of extra years on this earth that others didn't get. In the end, it was lung cancer. Doc said the tumors were outside his lungs - agent orange.

Rest in peace Roy Leon "Bud" Andersen. I'm missing you Cuz.

Last edited by Krogen; 05-23-2020 at 04:30 PM.
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