Monday, November 21, 2016
Love Letter Campaign ~ Never To Be Forgotten Bill
You will never be forgotten
Over the years I have wondered about you, if you are ok?
Our paths crossed whilst staying at Sawtell Caravan Park August 2006
We spotted each other and stopped for a chat
You told me you lived alone out the back of the never never, (WA) and you were once a soldier, here for a reunion with the Long Tan Vietnam Vets
You seemed to want to chat, I listened quietly and respectfully to your stories of war, despair and depression, to experiences you had at Long Tan, felt your need to unburden, felt your need for someone to care, someone to care enough!
Unexpectedly you asked me to join you that night for a dinner dance at the Sawtell RSL Club...
Always up for a challenge and an adventure, I graciously accepted...
We laughed and danced, joy was on your precious face....
A few of the veterans told me they had never seen you look so happy, had not seen you dance before nor enjoy yourself so much, they seemed pleased and spoke to me affectionately....
After a time you respectfully and politely excused yourself, said you had to leave as you had some naughty plans and I was a 'nice girl'
Away you went as I chuckled to myself and thought
"What a lovely honest man, hope he enjoys himself, he certainly deserves to"
It was an honor Bill when you asked me to attend the Memorial Service.
During the service I looked upon the faces of those who were once young and full of hope, now worn and full of despair, men who were proud to serve their country!
I was invited to join the family of vets for breakfast, this was an absolute delight as I had won a meat tray at the local Bowls Club,
couldn't wait to share....
This was the opportunity to talk to the wives of the hurt, damaged and trying to cope.
As I spoke to the women over breakfast, I listened too to their stories, the love and despair and sense of loss they had for the men they had married, men who returned from Vietnam changed for ever more.
As a civilian, I did learn many things from the Vietnam Vets, this I consider a privilege, a part of my heart belongs to you Bill, to these men and their families
On a final note
I consider Lieutenant Colonel Harry Smith, MC SG the finest of Australian men, he fought on for the recognition of his soldiers, he fought the good fight after the war, at the age of 83 he fought on and won!
Let us all take a leaf out of Harry's book, a great commander, a true inspiration; age is no barrier
Harry spoke out and it was done!!
This blog post is part of The Love Letter Campaign... a project started by FamilyOfaVet.com to encourage those who love a hero to write a letter sharing their story (where they started, what they've faced together, and why their love endures). It's not just for spouses, but also for parents, siblings, caregivers, and friends. It's about telling the "rest" of our stories... stories that continue despite PTSD, TBI, and the challenges of life after combat. To share your love letter or find out more about the campaign, visit http://www.familyofavet.com/love_letters.html.