fourbroadsinabus

Freedom Beat Across America: In Search of America's Heartbeat

Archive for the tag “nam vet”

Another Broad Heard From!

This is not exactly a guest blog.  This is Dottie finally finding out where she stashed the journal she kept on our trip across the country.  We enjoyed revisiting our trip and thought you might also.

Well, hello Dottie! You're lookin' swell, Dottie

(The words are hers.  Any mistakes in transcription are mine)

August 4, 2011
We started out at a Verizon store, replacing my phone that seemed to have vanished. I think the “minutemen” and their quality control were off. [Does that date us? Anybody else remember the “Minutemen” episode of Twilight Zone?] I am willing to bet that it will turn up sometime along the way. [Never did!]

Too many . . . too many

Next we ventured to the Santa Fe National Cemetery. Found out several things. One: after 9/11, it is evident that anything that is related to “National” ownership, i.e. the people, has more constrictions for the sake of security and the privacy of, say family visiting a grave. We hadn’t known that before we could get pictures and film footage, we needed permission. Not knowing this and not seeing any posted restrictions, we proceeded to the gravesites with our cameras and were promptly interrupted by cemetery security. A trip to the Administrator’s office, a bit of explaining and some paperwork, and we were on our way again.

A bit fuzzy. The camera person was weepy.

Next stop, Angel Fire, NM. We wanted to go to the Viet Nam memorial there. The only one in America dedicated solely to Viet Nam, it started as a privately-owned shrine for a lost son. It now belongs to the people of the United States. [Actually, it’s a New Mexico State Park now, but why quibble?] It was a bit of a chore driving-wise to get there, but well worth it. A visit there will bring some tears of remembrance and an education to those grandchildren of the ones that lived it.
Next was Eagle Nest where we visited a quaint restaurant and got to visit a 1920’s brothel. The building was built from stolen railroad ties and even though the beds are gone, some of the original “fixins” are still there, including the original wallpaper. And it is reported to be haunted.
We then pushed on into Raton to spend the night. [After a quick dip into Colorado]  We hope to make it to Oklahoma City tomorrow to meet up with Don Papin, Oklahoma Captain of the Patriot Guard.

http://www.vietnamveteransmemorial.org/about-the-memorial/2/MemorialHistory/

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Moving on, in different ways

Well, it beats getting another ladder

After three weeks of new-computer problems, it’s time to bring things up to date (which is not the same thing as ‘update’ and I’ve had quite enough of updating during these last three weeks, thank you).
The sound studio moves on. The wall-to-wall ceiling and floor insulation is pretty much in place with, as someone said, enough staples to make it resemble chainmail. It’s not going to fall down any time soon. It’s actually quite cozy in there, especially with November’s drizzly ice-cold rain coming down outside.  The walls are fuzzy — if anyone needs some head-banging time, we’ve got the perfect place, cheap rates.  Next comes the office, where the operational equipment will be. Just a matter of moving everything that we moved out of the studio area into the office, from the office area to ? Oh dear, here we go again, move this over here so we can move that in there. I know Will calls this house the Tardis, but it’s not really unlimited.

This will NOT fit in my bedroom

We are still filming interviews for the documentary. Just a week ago we met up with a Viet Nam vet who spends his time not only helping his fellow vets, but reaching out to the young ones coming back, bewildered, from a war just as horrendous in a desert as the other was in a jungle. The ones, he says poignantly, who managed “some sort of survival”. He spoke of his nephew, killed in Fallujah in 2004. And of a buddy who stood up just in time to take a bullet meant for him. He spoke of what it’s like to come home to people who simply cannot understand, no matter how much they try, no matter how much they want to understand. His advice? Get professional help as soon as you can. Not psycho-crap, just someone who knows, who’s been there and can help you find your way through your own particular jungles, back home to a life that will never be what you once thought it would be but can still be everything you want it to be.

“It’s not weakness,” he says to those who hesitate. “It’s not weakness, it’s strength. Weakness is giving up. Strength is asking for help, getting it and moving on.”

Ooo-rah, gunny.

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