This Memorial Day weekend I was thinking of a high school friend who was killed in Vietnam. I think of him often, but somehow he was on my mind more than usual. Maybe it was the recent sexual abuse and harassment that's come to light in the media. There were plenty of women in the service during the Vietnam years, but not anything like today. That's why the recent revelations about rape and assault, and the resultant cover-ups are so damning and so disappointing.
The dilemma for pacifists like myself, of course, is to retain our beliefs while still "supporting the troops." It's a non issue in my view. I say that because anyone who is a humanist will always support others. If I disagree with the death penalty that doesn't mean I condone the acts of the criminal.
So here I am thinking aout my friend Bill Garcia, and I happened to remember the time, about 20 years ago now when I went in search of his name on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C.
Wondering if any photos of the wall were online I chanced to find some information about him and his military career. I remembered that he was only 20 when he was killed in 1966. He remains 20 in my mind always.
This post was written by a second cousin who never met him. She took the time to honor his memory and mentioned some tings her mother told her about the person she considers a hero. The post ends with some contact information, but it didn't work. I tried to contact her because I wanted to fill in some gaps. the email address must be obsolete; it kept bouncing back with the message that it was an incomplete address. Didn't look incomplete, but maybe a letter or number or some other figue was missing. I een tried to add something to the post, but that link just said the site was being changed or re-worked. I would really have loved to describe her cousin Bill's blue eyes, his golden frizzy hair, and an impish grin he was never without. I wanted to tell her about his '59 Ford convertible, the trips to the So. California beaches on Fridays after summer school, and how he loved to dance with the girls at the local Catholic Youth Organization.
So Tracy Delgado, cousin of William Garcia, maybe you'll find this blog if I make you two the title. Hope so. Do let me know.