"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, July 17, 2014

Boots: by Lee Tucker

Boots at The Wall

As a Vietnam Veteran, I share many feelings with so many others.

We all served our country at a time when many of our countrymen didn’t agree with the war, or our participation.

Some of us volunteered, others were drafted, but all of us landed in the same country to fight the same enemy.

There are those who believe that their part in the war was more significant than others.

There are those who feel guilty for coming home alive, instead of in a body bag.

All of us are confused as to why we were shunned and protested against for serving our country.

All of us are Vietnam Veterans…

The military, like any machine, can only work when all of its parts are functioning the way they were designed. This includes all of its different branches: Infantry, Artillery, Naval Support, Air Support, Medical Support, and so many others, right down to the mechanics and company clerks. Without every single person involved, the machine will not function at full capacity…

Each Veteran was processed in country the very same way, and given their orders to a specific area to serve within the confines of their MOS. We were issued gear that included Jungle Boots that we would all wear for the time we spent in country.

And so, life in Vietnam began…

I was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division at Cu Chi. It was January of 1968. I was about to understand the full effect of “Tet”…

Being assigned to a mechanized infantry unit, we spent the majority of our time patrolling the rubber plantations along the Cambodian Border.

There are many stories of horror and heroism and just plain Hooah-ism that I could write about, but all of us have stories that we either share, or keep to ourselves. My story here is short and heart felt…

To all of you who have taken a bullet, watched a fellow soldier die, survived a human wave attack, survived mortar and rocket attacks, fired those big guns that scared the hell out of everybody, saved a soldier's life in the field, or in a field hospital...

To those who came out of nowhere and swooped down from the sky to get us out of bad situations…

To those who flew over us and dropped bombs on areas so we could continue our mission…

To those who processed our orders, coming and going…

To everyone who wore the Boots, I say thank you… 

Boots at The Wall
No one else could have felt your fear, or your pride, only you, when you laced up those Boots every day…

We all should be proud of our service. No one else walked in your Boots. No one else has the right to judge your importance.

Thank you all for your service to our country.

Welcome Home Brothers and Sisters…

Lee Tucker,
United States Army
Republic of Vietnam
January 1968 to January 1969

“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. We as Brothers-In-Arms all say "Thank You" to one another.

  2. Well written. My boots rest as my own private memorial to my experiences. They live in a corner of my closet. I clean and polish them every now and then. They have a deep scar across the toe - that I can't seem to polish out. USAF - Republic of Vietnam Jun 67-Jun 68.

    1. Keep polishing Jim..... Eventually, you will hardly notice that scar.... Welcome Home Brother!!!!! Thank you for your service to our country....

  3. When I arrived in the Nam, it was the end of '69, and they had changed the design of jungle boots to the bigger tread pattern, mine were some of the last of the old, smaller tread design. And I was fiercely proud of those boots, cuz, in my mind, they identified me as a veteran of Vietnam, not to be confused with the cherry boys with the new cherry jungle boots. I wore those boots the whole 25 months I was there, and you know they were wore out by then, almost no tread left, cuts and gashes all over the toes, and the same color as the dust, cuz the factory shine was long gone and I was proud of that. There was a million other pairs of jungle boots, but that pair was mine. Excellent article Lee, it brought back alot of memories, thank you for your service. Welcome Home Brother!!


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