I didn’t want to hijack a thread so I started a new one to share a story about a good friend.
Gene Daly and I attended college in Boston.
We were in the same classes and soon became friends.
He was a gentle giant. Good looking, quiet, and always smiling.
He had a BSA 650 Hornet Scrambler and would pick me up on the way to school each day.
He had a full beard most of the time and drove around with a chain around his waist that was used to prevent people from taking the bike when it was parked in Boston.
I called him Geno and sometimes Grog after a hairy cartoon character.
Needless to say, we did some crazy things together.
After we graduated we went separate ways and soon lost touch.
A few years later I tried to contact him but it was the days before the internet and I was unable to get any information. Even the college had nothing.
About 30 years ago, something happened and I thought about Geno thus I did an internet search.
I was shocked to learn that he died in Viet Nam.
Since then I think of him during holidays, - Memorial Day, Veterans Day , Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Independence Day, even Columbus and Labor day.
After reading the “Thanks for your Service” thread I did another search and found a picture of Gene followed by a link to an article about him and his family.
To tell the truth I cried when I read it.
I just want to share the article with my friends –
This is the link -
GENE - My friend without a beard -looking better than I remember
I read it.
May God Bless their souls and may they have eternal peace.
A local restaurant is offering a free meal today to veterans. All we need to do is show them our ID card to take advantage of the offer. I might just do it.
There are many of us who choose not to 'talk about' Vietnam. We can feel devotion, honor, freedom, determination, and more. Our buddies, and still our country. It is also very difficult to let go of the way vets were looked upon and treated when returning home, although 'time seems to be wounding all heels'... ('Hanoi Jane' is another item.)
Twenty years after 'events' got going in Vietnam, a close friend (read: A Member of Congress at that time) revealed that the ordeal was a planned involvement, meant to stimulate the economy. Specific businesses had been told to give their unions concessions, "And gear yourselves for war production, because we have just signed an agreement that will keep you going for at least the next twelve years." The whole thing was planned! That was 1961.
Personally, I still find it difficult to 'Forgive' when I see Friends' & Buddies' names on the Memorial Wall. Even if we can forgive, the knowledgeable human mind does not 'forget'....
Honor the vets you know, as well as ones you don't!
Yesterday, the mail truck delivered a "Veterans' Day" card, personally signed by many members of my Church. I will acknowledge the tears.
Before my Dad passed on, he requested my son play Taps at his funeral when his time came. My son played trumpet in his high school marching band.
My Dad was active at his local VFW but always felt the honor guard with an electronic trumpet couldn't match the real thing. When Dad passed on, my son kept his promise and played Taps flawlessly near my Dad's flag covered casket in the mausoleum chapel. Immediately outside, two sailors were talking to our funeral director and they approached my son to do the same for another serviceman. Apparently they both had forgotten to bring the cassette or whatever music they were supposed to have. So we stayed a few more minutes while my son performed a second time. I still think his first performance was the best.
Tonight at 5:15PM, sundown in my town, my son will play Taps in my neighborhood as we take the flag down. My Dad and my uncles as well as my aunt did their duty in the armed forces and we recognize them for their contribution. As for me, I was ready to go but Nixon changed his mind.
The affect of Gene's death in Viet Nam goes far beyond one person.
In my mind Gene is a hero. I just wish I was not so stupid and could have talked to his parents and brother.
I am not self centered enough to think that I could have lowered their pain but would have let them know that their sacrifice was ---
I can't find the words to say what is on my heart.
His family all paid the price for our freedom!
I can't stand those that don't acknowledge what people and families have done for our freedom.
Our freedom has been paid for by the blood of people like Gene and the pain of their families.
Camp Lindsay, AFG 2010