Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day - A look back in time

  Today I hear people talking that are disgusted with the way certain things are going in this country and wish they could leave. When I hear this I remember how I felt when I set foot on foreign soil and how blessed I felt to be an American. You just don't know until you leave what you have to see what others deal with on a day to day basis.

  As I write this I fully understand that I was also blessed to have a good job in Vietnam during the 19 months I served there instead of being in the jungle in constant danger. Don't get me wrong, because I had my moments when I was close to harm, it just didn't happen to affect me at the time. Following are some images that I saw and wanted to share on this Memorial Day.

A daily scene on my compound as local workers came to do chores like washing and ironing our clothes and cleaning our living quarters.

Our chapel as seen through the wire separating us from the inhabitants of Qui Nhon.

A young boy that as he greeted you on the compound he would salute you whether you were a private or a general and give you a huge smile. He was caught one day pacing off the distance from our perimeter fence to our movie shack in preparation of giving the information so many of my friends could be killed. He was never seen again.

A friend and I (left) sharing a peaceful moment in the enlisted men's club after hours.

A leper colony in Qui Nhon where I saw individuals with missing fingers, toes and a hole where their nose used to be.  It was not allowed to take their picture but the area was beautiful.

Following are scenes from the Ghen Rang Orphanage in Qui Nhon where I spent a lot of my off time being with children that were outcasts and products of relationships with GI's and Vietnamese girls. 

This was Kim, a local that worked in our office of the 13th Finance and acted as interpreter when at the orphanage as the Catholic nuns did not speak English. Kim was a real blessing.

I (right) was also blessed to attend a Catholic wedding of Kim's cousin very early one morning. Ate some things that I never will know what it was but felt so great to have the experience.

  I never regretted serving my tour in Vietnam even though there were times that were frightening like a friend finding a hand grenade set by a fuel tank outside our mess hall or the time an explosive landed close enough to my compound that it threw rocks inside. However I will always know how truly blessed I am to be an American after what I saw and experienced. God Bless the USA.


  1. Such interesting photos, thank you for sharing them with us!

  2. You were a Cliff Robertson look-alike, good buddy! I remember you posting some of these pictures before. They serve to remind us of the strife people in foreign lands face on a regular basis. Here in the USA most of us take comfort and convenience for granted. Memorial Day and this post remind us that we shouldn't.

  3. First of all thank you for your service my friend! As you know I have a healthy respect for the military. Of course I've been a military wife 2x now and total I've been married into the Air Force and Guard now for almost 18 years
    Second That picture of you and your buddy was a great one. Look how handsome you looked!
    And third Kim is stunning. Her picture was haunting! I wish I could go to an orphanage like that. The problem is I'd want to try and adopt all those children. It breaks my heart. Have a great Memorial Day Odie and Thank you again!!!

  4. Odie, I also want to thank you for your service to our country. Without brave men and women like you, we wouldn't be the nation that we are. I always learn so much when you share your experiences about Vietnam.

    Have a wonderful Memorial Day, my friend!

  5. Thanks Odie, I truly appreciate what you and all other service men and women have done through the years for our country. I'm so glad you made it home from Viet Nam, and you are right, we should appreciate our country and the freedoms it gives us. God bless.

  6. Hi Odie. Great post for your Memorial Day. You were certainly a very handsome young man. Like Shady, I remember these photos from previous posts, but it was good to see them again. I agree totally, we should appreciate our Countries and the freedom that we have, all thanks to those, like you, have served your Country in the past, and for all those who still serve today. God bless them all!