His death was the beginning of a long journey
His death was not by hostile fire, as his lifeless body lay in a far remote country called Vietnam. Maybe it would be recorded as an accident or by hostile fire. But this would not alter the fact or bring comfort to the love ones left back at home. As life fading and the world that he once knew grew dark. He felt that somehow he found peace in this land so far away from home. It was like a new birth, for the first time in his life, he felt no pain, no fear, and the earthly laws that bound us to our mortal existence seemed to no longer exist. He felt free and towards the heavens a light shone down as if to guide him as many lighthouses have guided ships to a safe passage. His curiosity was over whelmed and, he floating towards the light as a moth to a candle. He heard the men under his charge calling his name,at first, it went unnoticed, but they were persistent until it could no longer be ignored. His trip towards the light came to a halt as he turned toward the voices.
The morning started out normal, hot, humid and looking forward to a trip to the mess hall for something they called food. It would be a few hours before it was time to be deployed. It gave us time to clean weapons, and stock up on supplies then plan out the nighttime operation. If there was any time left, write a letter home and tell them how safe and sound you were. These letters were mostly lies; you always felt that maybe the next time in the field, death had you on his list to be claimed. The lies in the letters, maybe the love one's back home would believe but more than likely they knew you were hiding the truth. It was the time of the month when the squad was deployed to perform a joint operation with the Navy. As the day grew into darkness, our trip down the Mekong River began, when the radar on the swift boat found a promising location we would be drop off to set up an ambush. A man on the bow used a starlight scope to try and avoid being ambushed
I moved to Missouri after living through the Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Fell in love with a little town in what they call the bottoms called Claryville, which is across the river from Chester, Illinois. It was destroyed in the great flood of 1927. The story is about a Vietnam soldier that had a near death experience and became a host to a man that died during the flood and together they help each other find their way home to the arms of their love ones.
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