November 11, 2004

Veteran's Day...

So - here it is Veteran's Day.  For the first time in 4 years I have it off, and my son has school so I had to drive him to Tyson's to goto school so here I sit at work until school's out at 12:30.
Anyway - back to the matter at hand.
My father served in the Army in Vietnam.  He was a college student who missed enrollment that semester because he had had knee surgery, and way back then, the only way to enroll was in person and he couldn't go.  Shortly thereafter, he was drafted and sent off to war.  He was called, and he went where the country sent him, which in this case was Vietnam.
While there, there was a Vietnamese girl who worked for the Army.  Now what this girl did for the Army I don't know...but I know a lot of Vietnamese people gave her a hard time for working for the Americans.  One of the reasons is that a lot of girls that worked for the Army also slept w/a fair number of soldiers.  But not this girl.  She was just very poor and did what she needed to do to make money to survive.  She was maybe 20.  Her mother died when she was 13 and her father when she was 14.  She worked to send her brother to school (schooling isn't free over there) and provide for her two other sisters.  Most days, she didn't have enough food to eat.  She had 2 sets of clothes, day clothes and PJs.  At night, she'd wash the day clothes so she could wear them the next day.  Twice the VietCong burned down her house/hut.  After the second time, the kind soldiers at the Army base rebuilt her house for her.
There was one soldier that was really nice to her.  But she knew he had a girlfriend "back home".  When he got a Christmas gift from his girlfriend and didn't open it, she thought something was amiss.  She decided to take a chance and give something to the soldier for Christmas.  When she gave him the gift, he was so happy he picked her up and hugged her.  That was the start of my mom and my dad's official relationship.
So by serving his country my father met my mother and the rest is history.  So I'd like to thank my father for his service and for being brave enough to go - not only for our country's sake, but for mine and my mother's.  May he rest in peace.  It was a major turning point in her life.  I'm sorry - I must take a break now because I can't see thru the tears to tell my Grandfather's story.   Maybe next year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm also sitting at work in Tysons while my 3 kids are off at their various schools. I've been reading your blog for a while now (it's interesting to hear another POV from a fellow No.VAian).

Your father and mother's (what a strong woman!) story touched me - it's nice to hear some of the positives from veterans - and they created you!!