April 9, 2009
As I write this, my good friend from high school days, and Viet Nam combat veteran, is having another surgery for what stems from his exposure to agent orange in 1967-68. I received a text from him only minutes before he was to go into surgery, which may take far more bravery than many of the battles he was in. Anyone in my age group lived these times, and remember all too well how they were recieved back home, which was bad enough. My friend developed throat cancer, along with others in his unit developing other forms of lung cancers, they were all exposed to this agent orange. They were in the 101st airborne, and of the 38 in his unit, 14 died in battle, and every one else was shot at least twice. Nobody was not hit. Not only was my friend shot 2 times, plus shrapnel, he came home with malaria which you have in your system I believe forever.
Greg has had this cancer for about 15 years, and they were able to make him cancer free, spending nearly 2 years in hospitals, but not without considerable damage caused by the cures. Today he must go forward with a trachea tube, that he fears will not allow him to ever speak again, so much radiation damage has affected his vocal cords, esophagus, and neck.
Remember a few prayers for my friend, and when you see a serviceman or woman, be sure to tell them how much they are appreciated. As with my friend the emotional and physical war injuries, last your lifetime.
July 20, 2009
Mine too. I hope everything is ok with him.
John Greenewald, Jr.
The Black Vault Website Owner / Operator
November 29, 2012
We have a ton of military convoys going by all the time. We have military men in and around town often. I can only truly guess why as we are at least 90 miles from the closest army base, Fort Campbell, KY, but we do have bases all around us geographically, just not real close.
I routinely see service men/women in local convenience stores. I have also recently accepted a challenge I once saw from a respected person, who suggested that we all buy any service man/woman we see in a bar a drink. Since we are a dry county, and have no bars, I have taken to buying these service men/women soft drinks from the convenience stores. It's amazing, very few ever say yes when I offer to buy them a drink, but they are all very emotionally thankful when I simply say thanks. Still, those that refuse, I have taken to hanging near the register and when they ring up the purchase, I simply pay for it, even against the objections of the service man/woman.
They way I see it, I'm free today and my freedom is protected by these warriors, and I can afford to buy them a drink or snack to express my thanks. I am not rich, I retired at 45, and live on a restricted income, but this is important to me.
I hope everyone else will consider this, and show thanks commensurate with your ability.
Thank you all, and thanks to all our military and our vets... we should all show our gratitude the best we can.
April 9, 2009
Thank You Danny, my friend was stationed at times in Ft. Cambell I think for airborne training.
I can remember very well how my friend Greg just got back from his first tour of duty, where so many of his "Brothers" were killed and just 18 years old elevated to Sargent and responsible for his squad. He was advised to not wear his uniform, and becasue of the things people were saying to him, actually went into a gas station bathroom and changed into civilian cloths. Imagine not 24 hours earlier being in a war zone, and when you arrived in your home town being spit on by protesters, after just fighting 13 months to stay alive.