45th anniversary of my discharge. Processed-out at Ft. Lewis, WA after the long flight back from Nam. Main things I remember: All cadre at the proc. center wore masks ’cause we all stank and our breath could melt paint off walls. Took a hot shower & felt clean for the first time in recent memory. I had a pocket full of money and I ate a huge steak at the airport & 3 pieced of chocolate pie…all of which made me sick but satisfied.

I flew into OKC and when my mom grabbed me she was shaking uncontrollably. Driving through the big city to get out of town I thought how normal it looked…just like when I had left it. After I slept the clock around I discovered the world I had left was really gone. Then I had to start building a new life which in some ways was successful but in others I failed totally.

That long day seems like yesterday, yet, here I sit nearly a half century later. On other 8/8s I would lose my dad, I quit smoking finally on 8/8/84…and so many more incidents on 8/8 just because I noticed it on that day…this day…today.


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