I was on FB reading recent posts in some of the military groups I’m in. Someone asked about Army MOS merges. So I went off googling circa 1989 MOS merges looking for my own 32D MOS at the time. One link led to another, Vietnam era MOSs, and after about 5 minutes of looking around different links, I came across the [url=https://thewall-usa.com/]Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall[/url] site.
Now, Vietnam, the war, the memorial, has always been a mystery yet a closer tie to me than, say WWII or Korea, or any other conflict. A mystery because I never really stopped to try to understand the events of the 60s-70s closely. I suppose one reason is because I grew up in the 60’s/70’s on Guam. I grew up during the entire war’s duration. I grew up seeing evidence of the ongoing war everywhere. People I knew whose older relatives (when I was very young) getting drafted or joining to avoid being drafted and not having choices in what they did. Military 18-wheeler rigs with flatbeds drove down Marine Drive empty and back up Marine Drive loaded with bombs, running between Naval Station and Andersen AFB. GIs everywhere on R&R. At times, when I’d be with friends or family at Tarague Beach, we could see the B52s taking off on bombing runs.
So while I knew ‘a lot’ about that era, I really didn’t know that much. Yet, compared to the average Joe Blow from mainland USA, the Vietnam conflict was not some far off war being fought in another part of the world. It was distant, yet so close. Hard to describe.
Anyway, I visited the wall site. It is searchable and has backgrounds on all the names on the wall. I looked thru all the Guam names on the wall, dates they were born, dates they died, death classification. There is a comment section for every pages of each name on the wall. I read thru many of them. Posts from children of the heroes who died, who never or barely knew them. Comments from family. Comments from fellow soldiers, Marines, etc., in their unit back then.
Very somber, but not sad.