There is a lot to ponder in this statement carved in stone. Myself, having been poisoned in service by Agent Orange, now known as the most toxic substance known to man. I can fully understand the meaning of the first sentence in this statement. I can’t really grasp the full meaning of the second sentence. I do spend many hours contemplating the war and my involvement in it. I did not participate in an active combat role. I was directly involved in a support position which contained its own unavoidable life threatening hazards and dangers. I lost several buddies, friends and a part of myself to that war.
I just got a phone call from a Vietnam veterans widow. Her husband just died of Agent Orange related diseases. She called to tell me that she had seen the post on Facebook and that she knew of me and my work with veterans. In her own case she explained that to her it meant that indeed we did come home, but not as the same person who left home, and that a part of all involved are still there, stuck forever in a time and a place that we never will be able to escape explain or resolve.
Unlike the patriots who came before and after us who returned glorious and proud, we, the Vietnam Era Veteran returned broken, scorned, and judged as guilty of war, while draft dodgers were later welcomed back home as victorious. That is just how it was and is!
James M. Cripps US Army 1967-1970