At parades and on the street of my little town, people notice my Vietnam Veteran cap and feel compelled to thank me for my service.  I’m beginning to resent the words.  It’s the same phrase repeated without impact, without emotion.  It reminds me of what I did 40 years ago. These well-wishers can’t give me back what I lost; they can’t let me relive that time in my life that seems now so wrong.

Other Vietnam Veterans want to know where you served and when you were over there.  These questions open the door and allow your guard to drop.  The most acceptable phrase is: Welcome Home.  It says it all.  It acknowledges what we went through and says something from one veteran to another that our country didn’t say to us.