"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

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Vietnam Veterans Group

In my last post, (Vietnam was OUR war, January 4, 2011), I told you I would keep you apprised of any further news regarding a social community I belong to, specifically, a group within that community, the Vietnam Veterans Group.  For those of you who didn't read the post, one of the members posted an open forum question as to whether non-vets (I'm a Vietnam widow) should even be allowed in the Vietnam Veterans Group.

Here is a reply that was posted on the forum, after I posted mine:

From Ken Flauding

To all, especially CJ Heck:

As a Vietnam Vet (69-70), Combat Medic and Military “Brat”, I would like you to know you are more than welcome in this group as far as I’m concerned. I believe it enriches the discussion by bringing in all the variables. I recall my Father’s long absences and service in Korea during the war and after. While he never went to Nam, we did worry about his time spent on the DMZ in Korea.

CJ, you are one of the reasons we all served. We do it for God, family and country, period. I don’t believe this should be an exclusive group, homogenized and filtered. We are a conglomeration of differing points of view and experiences.

The children and spouses of those who served will make our discussions that more enriching, in my opinion. How about the Red Cross Volunteers? Would they too not be allowed? I personally know of one who was shot in a chopper while flying back from visiting troops at an LZ. She is a Vet, no matter how she served. They all are.

If any of those who don’t believe the families of servicemen don’t pay a hefty price for their choice of profession, I’d like to recommend viewing a documentary written and produced by a fellow “Brat” Donna Musil. It’s called “Brats: Our Journey Home”.


This is a very high quality production Narrated by Kris Kristofferson.

Whether or not you experienced that side of the situation, it will certainly help to understand the price the spouses of servicemen and women pay. Dad proudly served in the Army for over 22 years before retiring and going to work for the US Postal Service. Most of my youth was spent moving from post to post, assignment to assignment, with only a couple of years in between - lives of nomads without a real home. We had no choice but to live the Military life our father chose. Believe me, then and now, the families pay a heavy price and should be heard.

It would stand to reason, the most important element in a group such as this with no real by-laws or charter, would be to request discussion be limited to “Vietnam service related” discussion. By the very nature of that order, it should limit those who would be interested in joining.

CJ: God bless Doug for his giving his all and God bless you for sharing him with us. Please stay.


***Thank you, Ken, for your service, and for your warm comments. Your words have touched me deeply. I would like very much to continue in the Vietnam Veterans group. It is my belief that we have much to learn from each other, all of us.
Welcome Home.
My 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

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