Site hosted by Build your free website today!

American Veterans

”No Greater Love a Man Hath”

Search American Vets for a Screen Name

To find a Screen Name on THIS page, press the CTRL and F keys simultaneously

The Postings

In July of 1994 I went to see the Vietnam Memorial. I was searching for a name of a friend, long ago killed. When I found his name, Roger Dale Cecil, the tears that had been welling up began to spill over and all I could do was just let them. People all around me were quietly leaving little flags or flowers and there was a hush in the air that took your breath away. Roger Dale "Butch" Cecil was killed in July of 1967. He was the very same age as Bill Clinton and over the years I have often wondered if Butch served in Clinton's place when he dodged the draft. I will never forget the letters sent home to our family by Butch. They were letters full of the desperation of war and death and hope for the future. I'll never forget one line that he wrote that has always stayed with me. "When you have a drink of cold water, think of me", he said, for cold water was impossible to come by in the horrid heat. Butch told of times when they were completely without water at all and had to drink from the hot and dirty streams. He held buddies in his arms as they were dying and promised my grandmother that he would never miss Sunday School again if he were just able to survive and be able to come home. That was not to be. Butch had been an outstanding football player in his high school years, was a bright, outgoing and attractive young man who had such potential. Everyone loved him and the turn out at the large white church in Alma, Arkansas for his funeral was a testimony to it. There was a twenty-one gun salute and many prayers and tears. And throughout the years we have remembered Butch for the sacrifice he made and we have suffered the loss of his presence. He served when called, he didn't try to run, and his name is on the Wall. I traced his name with my hands and tried to understand why his name and 58,000 others were there, and the one who did not serve, who lied and continues to lie is now being served by interns in the Oval office. That is such an obscenity that there are really no words to express. So, now I will go have a drink of cold water and I will remember Butch Cecil, who served and died and his name is on the wall.
Posted by:
lauratealeaf , on February 04, 2000 at 07:43 AM EST

Bobby Miller, Cpl., U.S.M.C. You rejoined the Marine Corps after being discharged. Your service behind you, I asked you why you who had a good busines, and a young baby boy would you want to go back in and go to Viet Nam, your answer to me was, if my brother Marines are fighting I want to be with them. Bobby I want you to know I visited the moving wall at Parris Island and traced your name two years ago. I took it to the American Leigon Post in your home town of Mastic Beach, L.I. N.Y. It was the Memorial Day weekend and guess what buddy here it was 30 years later and that very weekend the American Legion was dedicating a new baseball field in honor of Cpl. Bobby Miller, U.S.M.C. I asked why 30 years later, and they told me it was only the year before someone discovered you where the only one to die in Viet Nam from the town of Mastic Beach. So 30 years after you made me understand what being a Marine was all about I was there in your home town for you as you where were there for me 30 years before. I met your son who never knew you, and he told me he would always treasure the pictures and tracing I gave him. I left him with what you taught me, the understanding of what we Marines are all about. I gave the gift you gave me, to your son. Thank you Marine and Semper Fi.
Posted by:
Marine , on February 04, 2000 at 10:19 AM EST

I feel compelled to write something heart-felt and appreciative for the pain and sacrifice of all the Viet Nam Vets posting and lurking here, but the overflow in my eyes makes it hard to focus, and the emotions in my heart are caught up in my throat and my shaking fingers are thick and useless on the keyboard. This has taken me almost two hours to put down, but what keeps me going is the knowledge that my puny struggles right now could be a million times greater and still be but a fraction of what you Brave Band of Brothers had to endure.
I was in my early teens when the War ended, so no names on the Wall would trigger personal memories for me. Still, the sight of it and the thought of the loss and sacrifice it represents creates a sensation both solemn and heavy. Your names and faces may never be known to me, but your great deeds will never be forgotten. The "Blame America For Every Evil" crowd squeals how we must apologize for this or that, but in my mind whatever "crimes" we as a nation may have committed, none has torn a deeper scar across the heart of the Soul of America then the foul and dispicable reception many of you were subjected to upon your return, and in the years following, by the slimey soul mates of our current Commander in Chief. If America need atone for anything, it is for those who committed those acts and those who publicized them, and those of us who did not immediately confront them and shame them into silence.
Future historians (most will be liberals) will toss lofty proclaimations of how wasteful and useless it was for us to be involved in Southeast Asia - it is an illusion they can entertain as they lounge smug and snug in their ivory towers. Any human being with a modicum of common sense will be able to note that within 20 years after almost 60,000 American fighting men and women shed their blood in those jungles and rice patties, the Berlin Wall was in rubble and the Soviet Union ceased to exist WITHOUT A DIRECT, FULL SCALE MILITARY CONFRONTATION BETWEEN US AND THEM. Maybe those "historians" won't see the connection, but many of us who came of age afterward, and our children, who were spared the horrors of the frightful carnage that would have otherwise been inevitable, we see the connection. For all the purported variety and expansivness of the English language, it strikes me dreadfully inadequate to find the best I can offer you vets is:
Thank you, and bless you.
Posted by:
Ton-O-Bricks , on February 04, 2000 at 07:59 PM EST

I've never been to The Wall in Washington, but I did visit the Traveling Wall when it came to KC. Except for standing in the American Cemetery in France with its row upon row of white crosses, I've never been so moved as I was when I saw the names on that Wall. Maybe it's because I'm the mother of sons - one now deceased - but what really got me was "hearing" those boys calling for their mothers as they lay dying. I cried all the way home. To all who have ever served or who now serve, you have my everlasting gratitude.
Posted by:
frankie, on December 30, 1999 at 12:45 PM EST

Where will you be on Memorial Day this year? Some people will be at the beach or on their boat. Some will be at a ballgame or family picnic. To many it is a day of vacation rather than the day of remembering it was intended to be. If you have a moment, you might want to visit a local cemetery just to listen to the sounds. As you walk on the grassy areas, listen. Notice how quiet it is. You'll hear the birds singing their songs. A breeze might cause the newly formed leaves to rustle. The American flag may brush against the metal flagpole or 'pop' in a stiffer breeze. You may hear a few voices of the living visiting the gravesites of loved ones, but, for the most part, it will be quiet. How different it is today than it was fifty-six years ago. Remember? If you were not alive at that time, do you remember your history? 135,000 troops were massed for the jumping off day coming soon. When it was to occur was known only by the commanders, but it was evident it was going to be soon. "D-Day" was just around the corner in time. When the day came, Allied bombers flew over 11,000 'sorties' to soften the coast of provincial Normandy for the invasion. 50 miles of beach was to become the landing area in the successful attempt to wrest Europe from the Nazi tyranny. Remember? Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword were the names of the beachheads gained by the American, Canadian and British troops. Over 5,000 vessels were used to carry the men, armament and ammunition to the shores of those targeted beaches. The enemy 'pillboxes,' fortified gun emplacements, were trained down on the landing craft as they plied their way to the beaches. Anti-tank and ship barricades lined the seashore, making landing difficult for some; impossible for others. Remember? By nighttime, the Allied efforts had prevailed. The beachheads were established and the march to the final defeat of Hitler, Mussolini, Hirohito and the Axis forces had begun. It would be only a matter of time and. . . More guns, more armament and ammunition and . . . more lives.

On this day, June 6, 1944, over 10,000 soldiers, sailors and marines would be classified as casualties of that one day. ONE DAY! Remember? Many things have happened since that day in June of 1944. More lives have been lost in standing up for freedom; Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Desert Storm, Somalia. The list goes on and on. Many more, whose names are known only to our Creator, have fought and died in individual efforts to preserve that freedom. Yet this represents only fifty of over three hundred years of seeking what has become known as "The American Dream." Colonization ended with the first shot 'heard around the world' on the green in Lexington, Massachusetts, and the United States began. Remember? The attempt to achieve that American Dream has had it's errors. That is natural since human beings are involved. But on this day of memory, we cannot fault those who fought and were wounded and died. They stood for the ideal. They paid the price for their belief in the ideal. Fifty years, three hundred years, two thousand years. Each is a small part of eternity. Every action on behalf of others cannot be written. There is not enough time or space to write them. But they can be remembered, can't they? Will you take time to remember? Where will you take the time to remember? Is your individual freedom worth a few moments of time to remember them? The cemetery will be quiet, except for the birds and the rustle of the leaves and the wafting of the flag. Time does not stop there in the cemetery; it only waits. And it causes us to remember.
On Memorial Day I shall be remembering.
Posted by:
The Colonel , on February 05, 2000 at 12:09 AM EST

While you are living don't be broken hearted that some, including Bill Clinton, may not appreciate all who have gone before us in an America that was. Instead, rejoice in the fact that their sacrifices and the sacrifices made by the ones they left behind - and those of us who went and returned, unscathed or wounded, have kept the flame of freedom burning and the beacon of hope that is the Stars and Stripes waving for these past 224 years.

Yesterday I rescued three US flags from a business place that had abandoned them over two months ago. As I was taking them down and folding them, I felt all of my friends who were killed in Viet Nam saying thanks to me. Like you, I miss them, and appreciate what they did. But I never forget that each of us paid a price as well.

SP4 James T. Davis. Davis was the first American targeted by the Viet Minh. He was killed in an attack just west of Bamboo Junction with a group of South Vietnamese soldiers. He worked in isolation from other Americans most of the time and away from other active radio sources. I had the same MOS and give thanks to God every day that I made it back. I got a couple scars and a few aches when the back injuries act up, but as long as I am breathing the free air of the US I will be proud that I was (and maybe still am) a simple soldier.
Posted by:
Old Hawg, on February 05, 2000 at 5:55 AM EST

I am a disabled Viet Nam vet. I have never been able to visit the "Wall". Once, in Fort Collins, CO, the Moving Wall was on display. I drove by with my wife and she asked if I wanted to stop. I said, "Maybe later". On the way home, we pulled into the parking area of the park where the display was set up. I sat in my truck and started to cry. That's all I could do. My wife said, "Are you afraid you'll see the name of someone you know?" I said, "That's the problem...I know them all."

But our war, though over in Southeast Asia, is not over and not yet won. As long as there are Bill Clintons, gun-grabbing liberals, effete political advisors, who don't have a clue as to the sacrifices of blood and courage that give them the freedoms they abuse daily, our war must continue to be fought. There is not a man in this forum who would not again, if called upon by his country, stand in harm's way to sustain this nation. I'm not talking about "Wag the Dog" skirmishes created to give some coward a "legacy", but a real threat to the freedoms we want our children and the children of our dead and missing brothers to have. God forbid that such a war should ever be fought on the precious soil of this country, but many more Bill Clintons, and it will be. I'm ready. Don't take these creaky old bones for weakness.
Posted by:
Eagle 1, on February 05, 2000 at 11:04 AM EST

My husband and son were both in Vietnam, Christmas, 1969. Thank God both returned home safe. But we lost friends there. To this day I still wear an MIA bracelet for Captain (now Major) Lewis Smith II missing since his plane crashed in Laos. I will never forget reading about a family that lost a husband/father in Vietnam, and on his tombstone they put: To the world, he was just one; To us, he was all the world. I think that sums it up for all families who lost a loved one in Vietnam or in any other service for America.
Posted by:
PhilOwl, on February 05, 2000 at 7:25 AM EST

My life has been one of many trials and tribulations, as have the lives of most. The men I served with in Vietnam are forever etched into my memory, both those that gave the ultimate sacrifice, and those fortunate to return. Visiting the wall was probably the most defining moment in my life. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to visit with friends who were lost in that quagmire, but also stunned at my personal lack of composure. Never before in my life did such a simplistic walk through memory lane have such an effect on me. Approaching the wall was difficult, but when viewing it, the remembrances all came crashing down and reduced me to a quivering mass of humanity. With absolutely no shame, I recall crying for those lost, and in all probability crying for my salvation. This was a defining moment in my life.
Next July 4th, my veteran organization, VHPA(Vietnam Helicopter Pilot's Association) will host our annual meeting in Washington, and a trip to the wall has been planned. To visit the wall is such an upsetting event for me, I will pass on this reunion. The real warriors will understand!

Thousands have visited the wall, and most come away with an inspired reverence from the experience. It is indeed humbling to know you were chosen to live, while others were taken for seemingly inconsequential reasons. I believe that each and every man who was sacrificed during this conflict died gloriously wrapped in our beloved flag. We shall never forget them or their sacrifice. They were indeed the 'best and the brightest' the nation had to offer. Many of us are nearing the end of our charmed lives. In the future we will be afforded the opportunity to visit with our fallen comrades. They served our nation magnificently, and it will indeed be an honor to once again stand by their sides as they are the nation's true heroes.
Posted by:
Devilshark, on February 04, 2000 at 4:45 PM EST

That Day on Iwo Jima

Joe Rosenthal's photograph of the flag-raising on Iwo Jima on Feb. 23, 1945 , speaks for itself. As I noted in The Saturday Evening Post 53 years ago, the first report of that event was also dramatic.
I was a member of the intelligence staff of the Third Marine Division, which was on shipboard still in reserve that day. My job was to keep current a situation map of the struggle ashore. Among the reports our radio intercepted were those from an observer in a light plane that constantly circled over the battlefield.
He would report anything of significance, locating it on the map by target area. For example, a message would read, "TA 182-L, two of our tanks firing into caves," or "TA 183-H, six of our men crawling on a ridge."

Around midmorning our radioman handed me a message that read "TA 132-P," which I located on the map as the summit of Mount Suribachi. Turning back to finish the message, I read, "One flag -- red, white and blue."

Horace Knowles
Washington, May 18, 2000

Contributed by:
Cowboy, on May 23, 2000 at 12:44 AM EST

I have three close friends on the wall. I haven't had the courage to go up there and look them up(their names), but I'm gonna do it, and make a crayo rubbing of their names in position. I appreciate, with all my heart, what they have done for ME! I will not let the banner fall callously. I have many relatives, all of whom made it through the wars! I know, it's amazing ... tank commanders, pilots (2) naval officers (2), foot grunts (seven, including one who made it from Normandy to Paris ... sniper sent him home from the liberation party!). I didn't serve, but I will never denigrate those who have and who have made it possible for the greatest nation on earth, in the history of this earth, to continue to this day. May God have mercy on US, if we let slip what so many have given their all to defend!
Posted by :
MHGinTN, on May 26, 2000 at 11:35 PM EST

I salute all the brave men who fought in service of their country. We will never fully appreciate the sacrifice that they have all made.
When I was about 12 years old while on tour of duty in Europe my father took us to Flanders Field in Belguim, I believe and another in Luxenburg the name of which escapes me.
I will absolutely never forget the impact of seeing miles of white grave markers for the fallen men of WWII. It was breathtaking and still brings a lump to my throat to think of all those lives extinguished in service to their country.
My Dad then had us go over to the huge stone memorial with the names of fallen men and showed us a few of his buddies on the list. I remember his eyes tearing up for a brief moment before he composed himself again.
It's a memory I will never forgot of the true cost of war.
Kenneth Eugene Watson, my father, highest rank of Sargeant in the U.S. Army, veteran of WWII and two tours of duty in Korea .
And all the other brave souls who risked their lives and limb.

Lest we forget...

Posted by :
AquariusStar22, on May 26, 2000 at 9:03:31 PM EST

As a child during WW2, I remember the pride we felt when our 3rd grade teacher told us we had something important to do, for our boys. We were told to knit scarves for the boy's in Europe. It took the whole class, guys and gals but we did it.
We would go along the railroad tracks and gather milkweed pods. They were dried on the floor in our bedrooms and when dried they were turned in, to make life vests for the sailors and pilots.
All we knew was, it was important. We may not have known exactly what war meant but we were told it was to keep children like us safe, all over the world. We knew when one of the people in our town didn't come home. The radio kept us informed of what was happening, so it made it more real.

It is these thoughts which keep alive the gratitude and love for those who gave so much for all of us. They fought for everyone of us BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED IN WHAT WE STOOD FOR.
Posted by:
mthead , on May 29, 2000 at 9:13 AM EST

A Tribute to my Father

I'm named after a Lt. Donald Wilson, who was killed during the Normandy Invasion. My Dad was a Captain and Lt. Wilson was one of his Lieutenants. Dad was impressed with his character and the way he always put his troops first. He said that Lt. Wilson was an unbelievably brave and honorable man.

One of the last things Dad did before returning to England, was to go and visit the cemetery where Lt. Wilson and many of his other men were buried. He wouldn't talk about it, but I know that leaving behind so many of the men he had led across the channel must have been a horrific thing for him to do.

Dad never talked about D-Day or the battles that followed. Later in life, we did a lot of sailing together and I tried a few times to get him to share some of that history so that it could be passed along to future generations. He finally agreed to sit down and record some of his thoughts about it… someday. Well, someday never came and perhaps it was best for him. Mom said that even though I was named for one specific soldier, that it was their intent that the one name would represent all of my father’s men that he had to leave behind.

My father went on to become, perhaps, one of the toughest Colonels in the Army. He was a hard man and dedicated to preparing his troops to be the best. Some, probably many, thought he trained and pushed his men too hard. But I believe he was firmly dedicated to giving them the best chance possible to fight in a war and to return home to their loved ones.

He had written too many letters to the families of men who never came home. As a Commanding Officer, he was totally dedicated to producing the best fighting unit he could, one that would be effective and one that would have as few casualties as possible. Whatever he felt and experienced when he stood looking at those graves in Normandy stayed with him to the end. It was part of who he was as a person and as a professional soldier.

He lay in a coma for around six months before he died and word had spread that he might pass on at any time. We heard frequently from men who had served with him over the years and we were amazed at how many came from great distances to be at his wake and memorial service.

I finally got to hear some of what had happened when they went in on D-Day. One old Sergeant told how they had trained hard for that landing and how he was supposed to take the lead out of the landing craft. He told how frightened he was and how afraid he was that he wouldn't be able to lead the young boys who were looking to him to lead them. He said he kept peering around the front landing ramp, looking at what lie ahead, and he felt such fear that he was going to let everyone down. He just felt near frozen in fear.

My father was supposed to be in the rear of this group with his radio operator. This old gentleman, with tears in his eyes and choking on the memory, said that as they approached the beach he suddenly became aware of a commotion behind him. He turned to see Dad picking his way forward. When he got all the way forward he shouted above the noise "Sarge, I'll be taking the lead today!"

This old man, took a while to compose himself. I was also struggling to fight back the emotion. But he managed to tell me that it was his belief that Dad had sensed something was wrong, that he sensed that he needed to do something to provide leadership and to encourage his men to do what they had been trained to do... what they had to do. This old Sergeant had carried a debt of gratitude all of these years and said that he just had to come to pay his respects when he heard that Dad had passed away.

We were greatly touched and honored to have him and other old warriors with us to say goodbye to a man who exemplified the words Duty, Honor, Country. He is never far from my thoughts and I feel blessed beyond measure to have had him as my father. He was not the warm, affectionate buddy that many boys have in a dad, but he was steadfast and loyal and taught me much about the important things in life, through his words, but more often through his actions and the way he lived his life.

He came from honest hard working people in rural Cattaraugus County, New York. He was the first to go to college from his family and worked his way through the University of Michigan by washing dishes, working as a night janitor and any other type of honest work he could get to help pay for his education.

He returned to the humble people he loved and respected and is buried in a small rural cemetery next to my mom and his parents. He was the sixth generation of his family to be buried there, going all the way back to a man who fought for freedom in the Revolutionary War. Walking through that, and one other rural cemetery, on Memorial Day has always been a lesson in the history of my family and of our nation.

The names of Veterans from our country’s wars serve as a reminder of the price that has been paid for our freedoms today. I used to make the trip every year with my grandfather who would tell me about his beloved uncle (who was his surrogate father) who had fought with the 44th New York Infantry Regiment (Ellsworth’s Avengers) in the remarkable defense of Little Round Top on the second day at Gettysburg.

Grandfather had never been in the military, he was a farmer, a schoolteacher in a one room schoolhouse next to his farm and later a mail clerk, but always a farmer until the day he died. Even though he, himself, had never served, he would always quietly honor and show respect for those who had.

He never talked to me about it, but I know he was proud of his sons who had fought in Europe and the jungles of Burma.

It is troubling that so many young people do not grow up learning the lessons of the past, learning about Honor and Duty and Country. It is even more troubling to see what type of leadership and role models they have in our nation’s leaders.

I can only hope for some positive changes and do what I can to keep alive the values and lessons of history that I know to be true. As long as I draw breath, I will do my best to honor the memory of the remarkable people who have gone before me. I will continue to do my best, to teach my own children and others about their heritage and about the positive examples they can draw on to guide their own futures.

- Donald P. Bond

Posted by:
DPB , on May 31, 2000 at 7:59 AM EST

Home Page

More Postings Page 2

More Postings Page 3

More Postings Page 4

More Postings Page 5

Go to the POW/MIA Page

Go to the Literary Page

Go to "Letters from the Front"

Go to "Famous Quotes by Great Americans"

Go to "This is What it Means to be an American"

America's Wars: Information and Statistics

Go to The American Revolution Page

Go to The War of 1812 Page

Go to The American Civil War Page

Go to The Spanish-American War Page

Go to The World War I Page

Go to The World War II Page

Go to The Korean War Page

Go to The Viet Nam War Page

Go to The Gulf War Page

Useful Veterans' Links Click--Here

Want to Post? Comment? email: Shenandoah