If I Do Die, I Die as a Soldier

Arlington Cemetery 1984

            Arlington National Cemetery 1984

Dear Mom and Dad,

Well I just got back from R&R and I am now in An Khe so I thought that I [would] drop a few lines.

I sure enjoyed hearing your voices it helps a lot. It gives a person a little more hope and things seem a little brighter. I am so home sick when I think of hearing your voice, it brings back so many thoughts.

I maybe shouldn’t write this or maybe think it but I want to tell you because I never said it while I was in the States that if something should happen to me while I[‘m] over here I [want] you to know that you are the best parents in the world. You have shown so much love and have done so much for me. I deeply love you for it.

Mom you showed it the most out in the open and Dad you were to[o] quiet to show you once told me that you maybe didn’t show it but I know you loved us all. You can’t count the times that I’ve tried to picture you in my mind you sitting in the big chair upstairs looking out the window so quiet and Mom trying to catch up on the work she had to do. O[h] how I would love to see it once again it means so very much to me.

I could always count on you for help even over 10,000 miles away. But I am proud to be an Infantry man and if I do die I die as a Soldier fighting for what I think is right.

 

Letter home dated: November 9, 1967

The Plight of the Vietnam Veteran

This letter to the editor, written in 1986 by my dad’s friend and fellow Bravo Company “Sky Trooper,” sadly still resonates today. Below are excerpts of that letter.

“Vietnam veterans and nation still recovering”

Last week this letter came to me in the mail. And, though it was addressed to me, clearly it was written to you, too – to all of us. So I wanted you to see it:

            “I have been following [this] column on the situation of the Vietnam veteran. It is encouraging to know that there are a few who still consider his plight. Continue reading

PTSD and genetics

Yalies find genetic link to PTSD

Excerpts:

Yale researchers have discovered a strong link between genes and the likelihood that someone will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Pingxing Xie GRD ’13 and Yale School of Medicine professor Joel Gelernter ’79 found that a particular form of a gene found on chromosome 17 made some people more likely to develop PTSD. They published their results in the November issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

“I’m interested in working out what the important genetic effects are for PTSD,” Gelernter said. “Our goal is to figure out what makes some people more vulnerable to PTSD than other people.”

Eight percent of Americans have been diagnosed with PTSD, while 40 to 70 percent of Americans have experienced a traumatic event. Gelernter and Xie found that Continue reading

Homeless Vets: Brothers under the bridge

Over 67,000 veterans are homeless on any given night

The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans is the resource and technical assistance center for a national network of community-based service providers and local, state and federal agencies that provide emergency and supportive housing, food, health services, job training and placement assistance, legal aid and case management support for hundreds of thousands of homeless veterans each year.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) states the nation’s homeless veterans are predominantly male, with roughly five percent being female. The majority of them are single; come from urban areas; and suffer from mental illness, alcohol and/or substance abuse, or co-occurring disorders. About one-third of the adult homeless population are veterans.

America’s homeless veterans have served in World War II, the Korean War, Cold War, Vietnam War, Grenada, Panama, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq (OEF/OIF), and the military’s anti-drug cultivation efforts in South America. Nearly half of homeless veterans served Continue reading