105-firing     af-medal-bronze-star

I read many times that medals fell in Nam like the monsoon rains. My own personal experience pretty much mirrored that. I got a steady stream of them the whole time I was over there (I had five awards of the Army Commendation for crying out loud). My class A uniform issued at Ft. Lewis for my trip home looked pretty good with them displayed on my chest. The airline hostess’s sure looked at them. The 9th Div. was also showered with awards while I was there meaning I was entitled to wear the ropes and braids permanently. I took off the uniform at the house and didn’t think about them for years afterward.

I got a Bronze Star after the big defense of firebase Schroeder “…against overwhelming odds…” I wrote my memory of that night a few years ago. It occurred to me then well, maybe I did earn that one. Like everyone, all I did was what was necessary. I really don’t know what any medal except the Medal of Honor represents. The MoH is some kind of unreal effort on the part of someone, usually saving others.

These days I realize that what we all did back then is now beyond my powers. Physically and perhaps mentally. It’s also common to regret the passing of the robust prowess of my youth. I still do not understand the origin of those awards, but I doubt I could ever replicate them again.