I think of my dad all Memorial Day Weekend, every year.
He was drafted to serve in Vietnam, 1966 - 1968.
He was not killed. Thank God. He served honorably and effectively, and returned home.
But he returned home changed.
Everyone who knew him before said so.
My dad is a good man, an honorable man. A man with a sense of humor and a zest for life.
But there is a sadness, too.
Every war story my dad tells is littered with, "He got killed." Every name, but one, that my dad has ever mentioned to me is followed with, "He got killed." "I liked that guy. We laughed so hard . . . but he got killed."
My dad witnessed a foxhole conversion and became the godfather to a man his age. His is the only name that is not followed by, "he got killed."
My dad came home. He fell in love, got married, and raised a family.
But I know he still carries the memories and the sadness.
The losses we remember on Memorial Day should include the loss of innocence and the loss of peace for these survivors.
My prayers and my thanks.
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