My Mother and Father, Brothers and Sisters went through a lot of worry and concern for my well-being while I was away at war. Having a family member away and in harm’s way like that is extremely hard for everyone at home. The worrying and the uncertainty of the outcome of it all may be the hardest part of all. This is the time in my life when I came to realize that NOTHING is more important than God and Family.
Diane waited and endured the difficulty that only a girl waiting for her guy can understand and know how hard it was. She endured and tolerated my temporary insanity over there, (at least we are still hoping that it is temporary). Through our letters back and forth, she watched and was aware of the changes that I went through, the insecure feelings and emotions, the struggle within myself. She endured it all and waited for me, not knowing if I would return or what I would be like when returning home. I know that the waiting and worrying was just as hard for her as it was for me being over there, maybe harder. I admire and respect and love Diane for many reasons and on many different levels. I consider her to be as much a Vietnam Veteran as I am.
Shortly after I returned home from Vietnam, Diane and I were married. She worked and supported us while the GI Bill enabled me to continue my education and get a decent job. We are now retired and happily enjoying our growing family. Grandkids are great!
Jarvis and I have exchanged a few emails over the years and I recently tracked down Bannar. We spoke over the phone and have also exchanged a few text messages every now and then.
One or two days a week I volunteer at the VA medical center as a DAV driver, transporting veterans to their medical appointments and then back home again. (nice slow relaxing drives).
I also have fun in retirement with my classic motorcycle restoration hobby, and I even built my own customized tribute bike which is pictured below at a classic car/bike show that was held for the patients at the VA hospital.
Thank You for reading my story.
I’m excited to announce that the book “Rucksack Grunt” will finally be published this fall, 2021! The e-book is now available on Amazon KDP and the paperback version will be available from this website in October 2021.