High Desert Hangar Stories: A Tale of Two Davids, and a mission for the books (David Rehmann)

I heard a Special Forces soldier say recently that his greatest hero is the Vietnam veteran. In his words, he said the reason that today’s soldiers are treated so well is directly related to the disrespectful way the Vietnam veterans were treated upon returning home.

I agree that today’s warriors have it a lot better than the young men of the 1960s and 1970s, who fell into the cracks of a nation divided over an unpopular war. Many of those young men never crawled out to find a life free of the scars of that war. Even today in a country where the Welcome Home banners and parades try to mend the wounds, the reality is that so many years after the fact, the years lost in the void are hard to mend with catch phrases and flag-waving — but of course, the efforts of so many good people to try and heal those old wounds does go a long way in trying to make amends for quality of lives lost.

Inspiration for my stories comes from many places. Sometimes it comes from a chance moment at an event or with a special individual who could be living or not. This week, it comes from both. As I was standing in the cold night air, listening to Taps at the Mobile Vietnam Memorial Wall in Palmdale, a name on Panel 13, Row 6 had me thinking about the fortunes of war and how it would affect lives years later.

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