"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

Saturday, October 30, 2010

David Westfall: A Letter

CJ, May I call you CJ?

I don't know that we have ever met. I'm guessing you are about ten years younger than my father, and he graduated from West Lafayette High School. If you were married in 69', when I was four, I'm sure we didn't attend school together either.

I was hesitant to accept your friendship request (Facebook).  I try to keep FB down to friends I know. I'm all about quality over quantity. Then you sent me invitations to your blogs. "Oh crap!" I thought.  I've been duped into accepting a friend request and all she wants is blog followers.

Well, I'm glad I did accept your request. I've been trying to read your blogs, but there are so many of them!
I'm not a Vietnam Vet. I'm a first Gulf War Vet. I spent my time flying around in my little helicopter in the Gulf region, Somalia and Central America doing lots of special things. 

I find almost all aspects of your Vietnam blog disturbing. Now wait. Not in a
bad way. Disturbing in a happy, sad, heartbreaking, motivating way. Hearing the words of other combat vets. Hearing the words of that 17 year old girl in Guam. Hearing your words. 

Your blog "From Bride to Widow" had me in tears. All of these years, I thought of the soldiers and what they went through. I never really took the time to think of the loved ones back home. Sure, I saw movies about it. My own parents had both commented about how their wonderful son, David, had joined the Navy and some ass named "Bull" had come back to them 12 years later. But at least I came home.

Anyway, I'm rambling. Thank you for sending the friend request. Thank you for the blogs. I'm so very sorry for your loss all those years ago.

Welcome Home, "Bull" -- 
Your letter touched me very deeply, and I'm humbled by your warm and thoughtful comments about Memoirs From Nam, and for your gracious expression of sympathy. 

All I can think of to say is many, many "Thank You's". Thank you for accepting my friendship request. Thank you for taking the time to read the blog entries. Thank you, most especially, for what you did for our country, "... flying around in your little helicopter ... doing lots of special things;" I'm glad you came home safely and that I have had the profound good fortune to "meet" you ... your parents may tease you, but I know they are proud.

May I please have your permission to post your letter to me on Memoirs tomorrow? It would be such an honor and I know it will touch others' hearts as it has touched mine.

She who flies with sparrows bows to one who has soared with eagles ...

My very warmest regards and respect,

“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

Bookmark and Share

1 comment:

  1. (From Facebook):

    This is wonderfully written and deeply touching. Thank you for your service and testimony.

    This is from the granddaughter and daughter of a vet, niece of a missing" (55yrs) vet, and mother-in-law of a current serviceman - - and that's no "Bull"! (I'm sorry -- I couldn't help myself).
    Jan Hoffman


Feel free to comment.