Freedom isn't Free

Freedom isn't free: Charlie (My Dad) is the man in the middle with his arms folded. 

War Story: 
On 4-7-73 we had been temporarily stationed at Da Nang for the previous week. We were to change crews on two aircraft the next morning. We had the aircraft ready for an ICCS mission to Lao Bao which is in the valley just south of the DMZ. The C-46 was very late getting there with our replacement crews and the ICCS mission was late leaving, so it was decided we would run the mission and worry about getting back to Saigon later. We had taken off from Da Nang with 12 to 15 people (comprised of ICCS people and North Vietnamese military as high the rank as General) on two aircraft heading to Lao Bao. About 15 minutes out....the inbound crews contacted us on the radio.....they said to return to Da Nang and they would fly the mission. Our two aircraft met the C-46 (#984), switched crews and we were off for Saigon as original plans. About 20 minutes after we left Da Nang, we heard the crews transmitting 'on guard'.........sounded like they were in the valley and there many SA-7s coming at them from their rear.......17006(Clark/Osterman) had taken a direct hit, 71-20117 (DeVoll/Hotchkiss) was damaged and landing in the valley. It sounded obvious to everyone, although cleared with NVA, that this was set-up.....and North Vietnamese Generals on board must have been expendable.

Thank you to all who have worn the uniform, protected us, fought for us, died for us and survived to remind us...Freedom is ours because of them!

Sun Sets

There is no space between time
when thoughts of you fill my mind.
I thought I knew every gesture 
you made.
Every tone of your laugh
Every emotion that crossed your face.

When the sun sets~
I think of you.
I wonder what you have been through
Why you keep me at bay
Why I never hear you call my name?

When the moon goes to bed~
I wish I could see the voices in your head.
Do you wonder where I am?
Do you 
hope to see me again?

It's as if I can't get you off my mind
Everything takes me back
to that space in time
When happiness 
was what we shared
Danger, we never feared.

If something bad ever happened to you
I would know
For I would hurt too.

If anything ever happened to me
I would send the wind
to find you,
and whisper in your ear~

"Though she is no longer here~
she will love you forever
she loved you always.
No distance between
No space in time
stopped her from
Love never dies!"

Washed away

It sped down hill with the melting of the winter snow.
I watched it wash away down a drain 
within the rain

I tried to catch it before it hit the river
Missed it by only a minute
and watched it dive deeper.

Could only assume it was headed to the ocean.
Once there it would crash against 
the sand and be pulled back in again.

It was gone,

It was to have been left in the mountains
high upon the hill
But I had prayed to 
bend its will.

It almost did~
Until it began its journey
away from me
Building up speed as it sped away

Nothing I could do or say
Would make the ground obey.
It churned and rolled
It gathered and released
It never did stop to find peace.

Once the melting began
everything slipped through my hand.
Not even the sight of me 
crawling on my knees~
prevented the pull away from me.

My tears only supplied to the rushing
chasing to find~
Something bigger, better.
Than the beauty on the mountain
it left behind.