Thursday, April 10, 2014

First Excerpt from My Dad's War in Vietnam

On my dad’s way to Vietnam that summer of 1965, the ships carrying the men of the 1st Air Cavalry Division namely my dad’s D Company 15th Transportation Corps arrived in Hawaii for a brief stopover. And like many of the young men whose first time in Hawaii was to go out and see the sights, my father visited Waikiki Beach to take the obligatory photograph with the iconic Diamond Head in the background. What happened next was rather unexpected. You see being from Mexico City, it was not so common to run into people outside of Mexico to be speaking Mexico City Spanish much less in of all places Waikiki Beach. But low and behold the familiar dialect my father had known since youth beckoned him to approach the two older sunbathing ladies conversing in the tropical sun to ask them where they were from. They instantly recognized my father’s Spanish as being from Mexico City and rejoiced to have met a fellow countryman so far from home. They asked him what he was doing there in which my father revealed he was on his way to the jungles Vietnam. The idea of seeing a young man on his way to war must have struck a chord with them as they revealed they had just visited the Vatican in Rome. They presented my father with a small medallion they said was blessed by Pope Paul VI and asked that he wear it so that he would come home alive. My father true to his Catholic faith wore this medallion and it is still with us today.  

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