"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, July 1, 2011

Thoughts for July 4th: Bob Butcher

This letter came today in an email from Bob Butcher (The Bman), who was in Vietnam from October of 1968 to June of 1970 (54th ORD Company).  It's timely and so full of wisdom ...  

Dear CJ,
I hope you are well.  I have a few thoughts to share, if its ok.

As we prepare for the July 4th celebrations, I can't help but think of my friend, Rodney Maunakea.  We went through AIT together. We also went to Nam together.  He had a smile that would light up a room when he was around. 

We shared with each other until on a warm night in May 1969, sitting together and talking.  Suddenly, out of  nowhere, there was a loud bang and my friend was gone.  I remember being so alone at that moment and I'll never forget how I felt.  That is why we need to never forget all those who came back, and to this day, they too still feel alone.  We have an obligation to do all we can to help them and those who are still coming home. 

I have been blessed with a family who cares and wants to know how it was.  That means so much to me.  We need to remember, we gave because we cared and because we loved our country.  We were never the enemy.   We only wanted to protect our loved ones from those who wanted to do them harm.

So, if you see a vet, take the time to smile and say "Hi".   Let them know they are not alone.  Its never too late to say, "I am proud of your serving for us.  It means more than people could ever know."

Bob Butcher
The Bman 
54th ORD Company
Long Bein Vietnam
October '68 - June '70

P.S.  Welcome Home to my nephew, Ty, a medic who was in Afghanistan, 3/9th Marines.  He came home last night,  July 1, 2011.

** Bob, thank you so much for sharing your memories and  your thoughts.  Welcome Home, my friend.

“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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