This is a photo of my dad while he was in Vietnam. He did two tours one in 1969 and another in 1971. When he was wounded in his first tour he was sent to Fort Lewis, Washington to recover. It was there in his hospital bed that General William Westmoreland presented him with one of his fourn Bronze Stars.
The Vietnam war, an unforgettable experience in that the events witnessed had both terrible and immeasurable effects on the men who fought in it and their lives. An experience that for too many would prove to bet he last in their life. So many lost....so many still missing....so few returned to face their country and their families who did not understand. My father was among the the few who returned home after being wonded in a fire fight. He was finishing the tail end of his second voluntarily served tour when he was wounded in a skirmish with the North Vietnamese. he came home a decorted war veteran who earned four Bronze Stars with "V" devives for valor, two Purple Hearts for being wounded in combat, two Air Medal for aerial flight in combat, on Army Commendation Medal for doing his job above average, one Vietnam Service Medal for serving in Vietnam, one National Defense Medal for being in the military, and one Combat Infantrymen's Badge for serving in combat. he was also awarded three medal by the South Vietnamese Army. One Gallantry Cross with Palm Leaf for valor in combat, one Vietnam Campaign Medal for serving in Vietnam, and one Civil Action Honor Medal for participatin in various civil actions through out the cities and villages in Vietnam. Even though there were many who did not understand the prupose of the Vietnam War and who detested the men who fought in it, that was not the case in our small home town. In a place where Amercan pride still reigned, he was respected and well wished when he arrived home. Many still today try to understand the experience of the veterans of the Vietnam War. To understand the effects, the emotions, and the memories left behind. I am one of them. I am the eldest of the three of mjy father's children and I have longed to understand the effects that this tragic experience has had on him. I yearn to discover what happened to the boy my father was and who the man is that he has become. Although I know my father well there is still a lot of him that I feel is missing. A piece of him that I am sure he left in the hills of Vietnam.
Today my father has three wonderful children and a lot to look forward to in his life. He is completely selfless and would sacrifice the very shirt off of his back if it would benefit his kids in anyway. he has always been a symbol of strenght and certainty in my life...a corner stone to my beliefs and the one person above all that I strive to make proud of me. I realize that while I will probably never understand what has happened to him in his life it has made him who he is and I would not change that for anythign in the world. My father is as great a man n ow as he has always been. I love him very much and am very proud to call him my dad.
The picture that is in the middle of the text is a sketch my dad did that was in one of his letters home to my grandma.
Basic Grey-PP Hang Ten and undressed monograms
Quickutz-Tag (from the icing starter set)
Karen Foster-Jump Rings, Lacing Brads
Making Memories-Alphabet Rubons
May Arts Ribbon