Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Obon - Some Personal Thoughts for the Future

A vision I had this morning; At the end of my life I will have succumbed to the effects of dementia from the Agent Orange I inherited from my father's exposure during the Vietnam War. I had been in bed for days in the company of one of my grown up daughters. Suddenly, I heard the unmistakable sound of approaching helicopters I had not heard in many years. A smile had come to my face. “What is it?” she asked. “That sound. I know that sound.” “What sound?” she asked. “That’s the sound of the Air Cavalry!” I exclaimed. I suddenly became excited the way I did when I would hear Military helicopters fly over our house when I was a kid. For the first time in days I got out of bed strangely wearing OD Green fatigue pants & t-shirt with my father’s dog tags around my neck. I stretched my legs and arms and walked outside into the knee high wild grasses of a tree lined clearing. I looked and felt young again as if I were in my twenties. I could feel the breeze of the rustling the leaves of the surrounding trees as the sound of the Hueys got louder and louder before coming into view. “You see them?” I asked. “See what dad?” “Up there!”I pointed. I looked up into the clear blue skies and pointed to a dozen Bell UH-1 B models circling around. I wanted to puff smoke and in my mind I did. As the Hueys circled in closer you could see the door gunners manning the M-60’s keeping watch as a lead ship came into the LZ. I stretched my arms into the clearing and waved down. The lead Huey came in and set down right in front of me. Like a young boy filled with excitement I raced to the chopper and there standing in the open side door was my father wearing a flight helmet, flakjacket, and his OD green fatigues with the patch of the 1st Air Cavalry on his shoulder. He looked into my eyes and extended his hand as he smiled and said in his native Spanish: “Subir te’ Mijito,” (climb on board son). I took his hand and climbed into the chopper and sat in the middle seat as my dad shook his head to the pilot that we were good to go. As he sat down I clenched my father’s hand and smiled as we lifted out the LZ and into the heavens. The long shadow of the Vietnam War that haunted my father’s life and that of my own faded into the white mists as we passed over the Hon Cong Mountain and the Song Ba River content that we were now at peace. Until we meet again. 

Louis Edward Rosas III. 2014

No comments:

Post a Comment