Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Out of the Blue

     Don't know what provoked me yesterday to look at my finished Vietnam blog but there it was, in the comments.  I'd written three entries that had been entitled 'Woolwine'.  With the first was a comment by Woolwine's son Jason.  Bobby Woolwine and I were in the same platoon squad and knew each other well.  Or at least as well as you can get to know someone in a six month period.  I guess being in life and death situations breeds togetherness.  Band of brothers and all that good stuff.
     I recall we all called him Woolwine, at least I did.  In my mind these days he's simply Bobby and remains a twenty year old kid to boot.  And that's the way he'll stay till I have no memories left.  He was a good soldier and a good man.  Also was ill fated.  Twice he was fragged by booby traps, one tripped by him, the other by a point man he was helping out of a swamp in the night of the Mekong Delta.  Yeah, it were a whole lot of shit.
     Jason said his dad was sixty-five and in the throes of dementia.  Also suffered from post traumatic stress syndrome.  Still had shrapnel in his leg and eye.  I don't remember the shrapnel in his eye but do recall his legs being scarred and stitched top to bottom.  After Vietnam we flew home together.  I stopped off in Minneapolis and he continued on home to the South.  I returned to Schofield Barracks after leave and Bobby didn't.  Rumor had it his family doctor took one look at Woolwine and began procedures to get him a discharge.  People come and people go.  In a war some leave with holes in their bodies, minds and souls.
     Anyhow, Jason said he made copies of the three entries and sent them to his dad.  I appreciate that.   But, who knows, maybe some memories are best left buried.  Jason also said his dad had shared few memories of his time in Vietnam.  I'm glad he found the entries and learned what a true hero his dad was.

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