Never Forgetting - Reposted from 2012

Reposted from 2012. The message bears repeating.

There's yet so much to learn. I can still say this at age seventy-one, and I do love learning at this ripe old age. But on this slow-moving Sunday afternoon in gloomy Trinity, Florida, I took the opportunity to rest my brain a little. In fact, I practically fell asleep in my tracks. 

But I'm awake now! I have so much to do, so little time to finish it all. Motivated by the young man in this photo, I opened the online encyclopedia and read all about the 7th Cavalry that was created just after the American Civil War, about General Custer and the Battle of Little Bighorn where he lost every man in that Sioux Indian War in Lakota, Montana. Custer and his men were using inadequate weapons while Sitting Bull and his warriors had access to weapons of choice. Needless to say, it was "Custer's Last Stand." 

Then I read on about how that 7th Cavalry was extended to the far reaches, evolving to include the squad of the 3rd platoon, D Company, 5th Battalion, 7th Cavalry of the Airmobile First Cavalry Division.

And this is my day, in fact, maybe several days, to read a manuscript for a dear friend, one who gallantly led in the 5/7th. I am already deep into nostalgia, remembering those days when my brother, Mike, was off to Vietnam, fighting a war that seemed to have no beginning, no ending. Those memories never diminish for me. They are always there, even if in the recesses. But today they have moved to the frontal lobe of my brain once again. This manuscript is long past due, I'm sure. Those thoughts stuffed away, slowly moving out of reach. They need to be written down. We all need to remember.

There's a line in the manuscript that says, "That moment I began my life-long hatred of the M-16." I'll never forget my brother writing home about the inadequacies of the M-16. That letter got all the way to Senator Stennis and ended with an IG on the field in Vietnam. I couldn't help but compare General Custer's weapons dilemma at Little Bighorn with that of the M16s in Vietnam. 

This manuscript I'm reading defies the M16 in miraculous ways, and I have not read it in its entirety. I can hardly wait. Notice in the photo that is not an M16!  When finished and published, this will be a story we will all want to read. The young man in the photo was twenty-one years old at the time. He is a little older by now, maybe my brother's age. They fought together in the mountains and rice paddies of Vietnam. This Combat Veteran wrote the review for my latest book, Isaac's House. And now he is well into this very poignant manuscript of his own. You'll be hearing lots more about this from me as time goes by. Until then...

We need to thank a Vietnam Combat Veteran at every opportunity. I'm thanking mine, now!

Staff Sgt. Ric Wetherbee
3rd Platoon, D Company, 5th Battalion, 7th Cavalry 
of the Airmobile First Cavalry Division.

Jane Bennett Gaddy
Trinity, FL


  1. Oh how neat, love the shot. Darling.

    Thank you Sgt. Weatherbee! Our family loves our Vets! : )

    So nice to see your entry Jane!

    Love to you dear Friend, ~Amelia

  2. Amelia, I've been thinking so much about you. Thanks for stopping by. This man is one of a kind, has an amazing memoir about Vietnam, and I am really excited about reading his book in finished form. I'll keep you posted. When I look at this photo (which my brother had in his possession since Vietnam) I cannot imagine this skinny young maverick pulling off a tour of duty in Vietnam and coming home to tell it. We raised up some great men in that era. They all have my love and appreciation for their unsung courage. God bless our Veterans!

    So glad to hear from you, dear friend.
    Love to you and those beautiful girls. I will drop by your place real soon.


Post a Comment