Did any of you wear one during the Viet Nam conflict? Here's what I can recall: I "sent away" for it and then wore it religiously, day and night. I can't recall the name of the man carved into the metal. But I think that his capture date was included. Does anyone remember this? And there was a period of time when the names of returning soldiers were printed in very tiny font in the Boston Globe. Daily, weekly? I can't recall, but my mother would show me when the list came out and I'd scan down for the man's name.
Then one day, there it was. He was home. I wrote a letter in long hand (I couldn't type then and I doubt we even owned a typewriter) and mailed it, and the bracelet, back to the veteran. I never heard from him. And the silence made me wonder what had become of him, for even at my young age, I think we were well aware by then that many of these soldiers came back wounded emotionally as well as physically. I seem to recall that he'd been in a POW camp for a long time.
Was the bracelet an awful reminder? An improper gesture on my part? Whoever he is and whatever happened, I hope he knew that I had the best intentions and that the gesture touched him.
And a final thought. Every time I see troops watching a football game by satellite, or watching election returns, I cry. Actually, the National Anthem makes me cry. Just so many things about the personal sacrifice, the distance from home, the dedication to a really tough job. Thank you all, I say today, from the computer I am now old enough to type on.