"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Through our writing, we walk out of the darkness into the light
together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff

Friday, September 10, 2010


To All My Brothers From Nam:

Robert Butcher
54th ORD Co.
Long Binh

Dear Cathy,

I wanted to write down a few of my thoughts about these last forty-three years. I remember the way people reacted when they saw us in uniform -- the looks of disgust and hatred. I remember coming home through Oakland on leave and a woman spitting at me and saying, "Killer." So many of us felt we were doing what was right, after all our dads did during WW II and in Korea.

I have a nephew who is a medic in Afghanistan.  How I pray for him and his safe return. I have come to realize, we made sacrifices at that time in ways we didn't realize. We were a fractured country with no possibility of recovering.  But you know what?  That was to all be changed . Desert Storm was the start. Due to the openess of reporting and their access to our military, we truely saw what those of us from Nam already new -- war was an ugly thing and people's lives were changed forever.  9-11 brought us closer and people opened up even more about how proud of our military and our young ones we were. We, as a country, are truely heading in the right direction.  I feel that it in my heart.

It is all due to our sacrifice and of enduring all the things we were accused of.  The words of hatred and disgust, their looks when asked if you were in the military, and how they looked or responded.   All of that has changed.  We were welcomed home and it does feel good.  It makes me proud to be an American and have the ability to be free.

We owe all that to those who have gone before and those after.   They deserve our respect and support and I give it to them with all my heart and soul.  I hope everyone will continue to do that for those who will go ahead to defend what we have always believed in -- the ability and the right to be free.

The 'Bman'

Thank you sincerely for sharing your thoughts, Robert, and for everything you did for us.  Welcome Home, my new friend.
A big hug,

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

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  1. Bob (Bman)
    I couldn't have said it better myself. That's why I'm proud to have been your brother-in-arms and proud to have you as a brother-in-law.

  2. Comments from Facebook page:

    Clinton Copenhaver:
    Great story and attitude. THANK YOU Bob!

    Kay Easterling:
    What a great comment from one of our soldiers from Vietnam. You did it, CJ. You brought us a great story -- how our country now views it's servicemen. Your husband did not die in vain -- and you keep his memory alive with your "Memoirs from Nam" blog. Very inspiring. Both of you!


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