When I returned from Vietnam, the urge to purge my memory of all I envisioned while over there, as a search and rescue specialist, began to overwhelm me. I sought closure to a part of my life I no longer wanted to remember. I had married a short time before my deployment, and it was an entire lifetime before I returned to her. Yet, I know I never fully returned. I met up with a high school friend that survived the chaos as well, and the words he gave me have saved my life. "If the gooks couldn't kill ya, and the damn Agent Orange doesn't kill ya, then why would you give either of them the satisfaction of doing what they couldn't do?"
By the way, it wasn't until a couple of years ago that people started thanking me for my service. They thank me now not knowing I wasn't there to kill people but to save lives. Back in the day, no one thanked me. We were spat on and called baby killers.