"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, September 22, 2011

More From David

Dear Cathy,
I would be pleased to share our correspondence. Vietnam Veterans have always had my highest regard and your work is a wonderful tribute.

My grandmother used to love to tell us stories of her upbringing in Coshocton and her wonderful family. If memory serves me right, she spoke of Doug's brother Denny as well. I believe that Douglas and Denny had a grandfather named Eugene (my grandmothers brother). We used to call him Uncle Gene. He was a pilot in WWII and flew seaplanes from a aircraft carrier. When I was a small boy his favorite story to tell me was how he once flew under the Brooklyn Bridge when training for the war.

It would be so nice to meet someday. After thinking about Douglas all these years, it would be an honor to share memories with you.

I'm especially proud of Douglas and all those who served with him in Vietnam. I'm sure that your efforts are so greatly appreciated by those who were there.

Thank you so much for your warm reply. More than ever, I'm so pleased to carry on Doug's legacy.



Dear David,
Thank you so much for your kind words about Memoirs.  I'm so happy that it's bringing family members together, amazingly, some who weren't even aware of one another!  I'm sure you will be hearing from Denny.  He wrote to me after reading our correspondence here on Memoirs ... in Denny's words: 

"Wow, what a neat letter. I don't know if I have ever met David and I am not really sure who his parents are .. .I guess we will never really know how many lives Doug personally touched.
Love, Denny"

Thank you, too, for your warm words about veterans.  That's why Memoirs From Nam is so important to me -- and I hope to all veterans, not only those who served in Vietnam, but other wars, as well.  It's become a healing place to read about the experiences of friends, share feelings of loss, and guilt, and also a place for sharing the universal pride and honor of serving our country.   I sincerely hope that veterans, their families and friends who visit Memoirs can come away feeling that they aren't alone and America does appreciate their sacrifice.  It's humbling, David.  It really is.

I've given some thought to writing a book called, "Memoirs From Nam", using the blog posts -- when Doug was KIA in 1969, the Kempf family set up a scholarship fund in Doug's name for our high school, Coshocton High School.  One of my brothers, Chip Parrish, was a proud recipient of the scholarship several years after it's inception.  

If I do write the book, I will donate all proceeds to the Douglas S. Kempf Scholarship Fund.  

We will meet one day, you and I.  We have memories to share and we can create some new ones, too.
Respect and love,


Dear Denny,

The world gets smaller and smaller. It's wonderful! Denny, think back, you have to know David. Is the Gene he talks about Kenny's dad?


Yes, Gene is Kenny's father. Della was oldest, then Gib (dad), William, then Gene. Gene owned and operated Kempf Electric Company on Main Street for years. It was between 2nd and 3rd Streets. Della had two kids,William and Nancy. They lived in Milwalkee. Her kids were several years older than Terry, Doug and me. Nancy was married to Augie Pabst for a while, divorced, and I'm not sure to whom she remarried. So, unfortunately, I really don't remember David at all.


hmmmm ... maybe we should do something about that (smiling) ... do I possibly hear whispers of a family reunion?

“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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