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Old 05-21-2009, 04:26 PM
1,297 posts, read 3,169,821 times
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A big thank you to all the veterans and their families who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom as we approach this Memorial Day Weekend. This weekend, like no other, should remind us that it does not matter if we are rich are poor, or live in the biggest city or the smallest town, when the call to serve was given, some gave all.

The BrokenTap family is not without loss and throughout this families 386 year history on this continent, there are three family members who have been Killed in action.

Joseph Warren: Killed in action: American Revolutionary War: Bunker Hill
Frank Grass: Killed in action: Civil War (North): New Orleans
Frank Johnson: Killed in action: B-24 over Germany

We would also like to thank:

John Black: Combat Wounded: Civil War (North) Bull Run (5 times)
William Johnson: Combat Wounded: Vietnam

But most of all I would like to share a letter I wrote about regarding a very special veteran. That letter is as follows...

Dear Butch,

I know you remember that day well, 38 summers ago standing in the rice patty with my father as you heard the thud of a bullet hitting a body. Nanoseconds later you heard the rifle report and for a split second you and my father knew one of you had been hit, but was not sure which one. Unfortunately it was you.

You never returned to the United States again, even though you made it through boot camp, became best friends with my Dad and did two tours of duty in Vietnam. To die three days before your return home hardly seems fair.

The Survivor Guilt is deep within my dad, even now, but he picked himself up by his boot laces and did well these past 38 years. He has used his medic training to save two lives, doing tracheotomy’s on the side of the road to save car accident victims. He also opened his home to hundreds of foster children, had three children of his own and adopted six more. He’s done some good despite the memories of Vietnam.

The sad thing is, I will never know your real name. Dad never talks about Vietnam and it is too painful to ask what your real name is. Butch is all I will ever know.

I have touched your name once though, on the wall in Washington, DC. I was too small to remember the name, but small enough so that I could be put on my Uncles shoulders and rub your name with chalk onto a piece of paper as Dad cried…really cried. I had never seen my Dad cry before, but of all the names…one name…your name…touched him the most.

Despite 38 years of silence, one thing needs to be said. Not from my Dad, but from me Butch. Thanks for taking that bullet for my Dad.

Written by BrokenTap; a Son of a Disabled Vietnam Veteran

Last edited by BrokenTap; 05-21-2009 at 04:34 PM..
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Old 05-22-2009, 07:59 AM
Location: Forests of Maine
31,298 posts, read 50,595,177 times
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The Old Town VFW does a memorial service at five memorials around the Old Town area on Memorial Day, starting at 9am. I am their chaplain so I am somewhat included in the process.

The post is open to the public all day. Food and drinks aplenty.

Everyone is invited to come by. Either for the memorials or to the post, to come in and say hello.

May God bless you.
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Old 05-23-2009, 10:34 PM
Location: Nebraska
4,178 posts, read 9,573,792 times
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Almost everyone in town here belongs to the Vet Post. Today we had the town Festival, which honors the Veterans in their parade. We do things all year 'round here for Vets; everything from assigning people to give them rides to the VA Hospital 225 miles away, or sending care packages to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, or providing personal packages for those Vets who end up in our local Veteran's Home. Since most families here have veterans in their familiy, both living and deceased, all holidays here have significance to our Post; but specifically Memorial Day and the Fourth of July!
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Old 05-24-2009, 01:36 AM
Location: Kailua Kona, HI
3,199 posts, read 11,684,112 times
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Amen, BrokenTap. That is a beautiful letter that you shared. I have seen the Moving Wall Replica, when I lived in Las Vegas. Sobbed the whole time I was there, laid a flower by the name of friend's father, found my husband's cousin's name.....

I also thank all the soldiers who died so that we may have our freedoms, and those that still serve today including my Army son (13 years and counting). My father and several uncles served during WWII, several cousins and other family members and schoolmates in the years since Korean War, my husband too (Viet Nam era). There is an American flag hanging from my front lanai 365 days a year.

Think I'll drag the grandchildren to the Veteran's Cemetary service on Monday; 2 of them are old enough to grasp it.
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Old 05-24-2009, 11:13 PM
Location: South Coast of Nebraska
252 posts, read 644,510 times
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Thank you, veterans of war, and thanks to your families for enduring.

When our community displayed the Moving Wall, I led/organized the "all nighter" group that stood watch...a memorable night for me. As the dark waned, we talked about how we each had known the war and the most incredible fact emerged: we always say that we 'knew' someone in Vietnam.

But, as we scanned the names on the wall, no one could say they REALLY knew THOSE soldiers because they died so young. We knew of them, for a short time, but they were gone long before their alumni banquets and long before we shared memories of high school or college and before they were known as a career. No one of us could say that we really knew them.

I remember the wall in DC. The trolley pulled up and, at a glance, I was so overwhelmed, I could not get off and walk down the walkway, for the longest time.
Later, a woman whose time was WWII, commented that she had gone to the Pearl Harbor memorial, but she said, "I couldn't really walk the tour because it just knocked the wind out of me." Her generation, her soldiers. Mine. It hits us.
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