The thing which really pisses me, what I cannot understand, is why the absolute best and worst of my life occurred so near the beginning of life.

Marriage, the birth of my children, grandchildren…those should have been the ultimate high points and spaced gently down through the years. The moment my grandson intercepted a pass on his own eight yeard line and ran it all the way back for a spectacular touchdown…that should have measured so high on my life line.

But those nights pounding shells into the old 105 while mortar & rocket rounds fell all about us. When comrads fell, when the enemy covered the wire so thickly with their bodies it was smashed and the live ones ran accross their backs. When we propped our wounded against the ammo boxes and kept firing because “someone” way out there, our brothers in arms, will die if we stop.

Then the wire is down & we abandon the brothers afar. Beehive rounds pumped into the earth/air between to kill in swarms of sharpened metal hornetts screaming into the night.

Then I sat quietly holding my first grand child or maybe it is the fifth grand child. “What?” asks my wife, “Aren’t you excited?

“Sure I am…he’s a beauty”.

“Well, you don’t look very excited.”

“I am…I am. Just let me get used to it.”

The war, it trained us to sustain life at such a high level, we could never find that place again. And, once up there we can never again climb that mountain. Nam brought so very much into my life I could not dream of losing those experiences, but they came at a cost my family can probably never fathom.

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