I listened to a radio show today about battle field medics and doctors in Vietnam. The horrors they described, the deprivations they endured were beyond re-telling. No words I can write would do their story justice. No one should be placed in such a position as they, trying to revive young men blasted to shreds, any one of which might be a neighbor, friend or brother.
Some of them came apart and lost it, never regaining their full sanity... no one of us can, or should, blame them. But most went on after the war to become "regular" people.
What impressed me the most was that these were ordinary men, thrust into extraordinary circumstances. They didnt ask for these things, but they endured and they went on. They coped any way possible and in the midst of the carnage, they did their job - they saved lives.
Many men living today, as you read this, owe their lives to these gallant men.
Most of these gallant men owe their own sense of purpose to the men they saved. For them, those they saved made it all worthwhile.
It's no surprise that most of these men have kept in touch over the last 40 years, saved and saviors alike. Only men who have carried each other in battle can know this connection.
No trite commentary, regardless of it's content, can supplant what these men have done, what they are. So I won't try. I'll simply stand in awe of them, this day.
Instead, I'd ask that each of you remember the servicemen and women who have tasted death itself for their family, their friends and a nation of citizens whom they will never know. God Bless them.