Loveland High School students were treated to a panel of Vietnam veterans and others who graduated high school in the 1960s, to hear their memories of the volatile time in American history.
“He made me promise after we had a couple of beers,” remembered Gene Brown of a fellow soldier. “He said ‘If something happens to me, would you make sure my folks knew how it ended for me.’ I said that we weren’t going to talk about that, it’s not going to happen. But I said, ‘Well, if you’re going to do that then I’m going to put it on you too, if something happens to me, go see my dad and my mom.’ So we exchanged addresses and things. Three days later he had an accident, he set off a Claymore mine.”
It took many years, Brown said, but he eventually tracked down that soldier’s sister several years ago and went to see her. The Department of Defense had not told her how her brother had been killed, Brown said, so the closure he provided helped her reckon with what had happened decades before.
Such stories were common among the nine members of one panel Thursday morning.
More were featured throughout the day, with each class period seeing different sets of speakers that included veterans, prisoners of war, and others.
Also notable were the panelists’ recollections of Loveland in the same era, right at the time they were graduating high school, as the United States’ involvement in the war began.
“We didn’t even know where Vietnam was,” remembered Gloria Margheim, whose husband, Doug Margheim was a Navy officer in Vietnam. Suddenly, she said, she was losing friends in this faraway place.
Source : Reporter Herald