To the Editor:
When I go out I wear one of two ball caps. One. tells the world I was a combat engineer in Vietnam, the other shows an award I received in Vietnam (matches my license plates). Whether I am in the local HEB, Cabelas, or crossing a parking lot I will meet another veteran wearing his hat. There is always a greeting – where did you serve, when were you there (and it can be WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and a few times either Iraq or Afghanistan.) . And I get a goodly number of thanks from others.
All vets paid their dues and are proud of their service. And we would like to share these times with the latest veterans, but they are hard to find. The vets from our recent conflicts need to know older vets have “been there, done that.”
We learned how to cope and can be of great help to younger vets. And to this point I would like to point out what one church is doing. The First Christian Church in Lockhart hosts a monthly potluck veterans’ dinner. I encourage all veterans (and families) to attend this monthly potluck dinner. We have members who can be of great assistance in navigating the VA puzzle palace, providing congressional contacts, or just sharing some stories (and some of these vets have some pretty wild tales).
One of my prized possessions is the Tabasco Charlie Ration Cookbook. I’ll have it with me at the next dinner (along with my original US Army SOS recipe). I completed my 20 years and want to reach out to these younger veterans and tell them Nam in ‘68 was no cake walk, but we served as proudly as they have. We just need the opportunity to tell them.
Don’t forget the family. Wives, kids, aunts, uncles, best friend- all can benefit from advice from our vets’ families. Bring your favorite covered dish.
So, take me up on this offer and meet me and more vets and families at the next dinner at the First Christian Church on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 6 p.m.
And wear that hat.
CPT, USA Retired