Today as we acknowledge National POW/MIA Recognition Day, I remember 2 men whose names I wore on my arm as a young girl while the Vietnam war raged a world away.
Thanks to the Internet I now know what happened to them.
Although I grew up in an intellectual and thinking family, we were blue collar to the core. For me this has translated into feelings I can only describe as a special kinship with the military enlisted who bear the brunt of warfare no matter the decade or enemy.
I did not know them, but they were men I admired and revered for their bravery and I wondered naively as a child what it was like to be “missing” in a land so far from home.
As an enlisted sailor I pondered how often they must have asked themselves “how in the hell did I get myself into this?” when caught between the insanity of war, the realities of being enlisted (and powerless) and the fate that would forever leave them in the hell of their youth.
Today I look at their photos and I see only men who were too young to die.