Today my husband and I attended the memorial service of his dear friend, Vern. I didn't know Vern well myself. After listening to comrades, friends, and family speak of him, I now know him a lot better.
You see, Vern spent 32 years of his life in the Army, specifically Special Forces. My husband, Dennis, also in SF, considered Vern a good friend and mentor.
Vern had four Purple Hearts, a Silver Star, Bronze Star, was nominated for the Medal of Honor, and numerous other awards I can't begin to recall.
When Vern was in Viet Nam, he was assigned to a small Special Forces team of 4 who were dispatched to monitor the Viet Cong. I don't remember the details of where or when or even why, but in a way that doesn't matter. Unknowingly, they were dropped into the middle of over 500 Viet Cong soldiers. The crew of the helicopter were killed and the helicopter destroyed. The four Green Berets dug in. SF soldiers carry enough firepower to sustain a fight almost indefinitely; but in this case, none of the four figured they'd make it out alive. After a long battle, Vern and his small group were still alive while the Viet Cong sustained 130 casualties. The VC retreated, certain that they were up against a larger force. Little did they know that only four men held off back that day.
Whether or not you agree with the politics behind war, please salute those soldiers who gave and continue to give so much and often for so little in return.
And for Vern, I say, go in peace to a better place. I salute you and may God bless you.