Today as we remember the fallen, I remember this particular Memorial Day when Daddy took me and my sisters to Washington, D.C. He wanted to remember the fallen, too. The name he is pointing to, Donald Pope, was a friend of his from high school. Daddy may not have given his life on the battlefield of Vietnam, but he surely lost a lot there.
He is definitely a hero to me. He was awarded the Bronze Star for saving a lot of lives by his quick thinking. There was a fierce battle one night, lots of incoming wounded, and the medevacs could not see where to land because all their lights had been shot out. Daddy lit canisters of aviation fuel for light, and the wounded were brought to safety. I’m not sure how many lives were saved that night, but God knows.
He was a hero, yet he fought the demons of war for the rest of his life. Alcoholism, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression eventually took his life. So today, I remember those who have given all for our freedom, including those whose lives were taken on the battlefield of their hearts.