I grew up with a story my mom told me about an old friend of hers from their college years. They would hang out, talk, whatever. And they were obsessed with The Beatles' song "Here Comes the Sun." This friend was killed in Vietnam and any time my mom heard the song after that, she would cry.
This was how I remember her telling the story anyway. I found out within the last few years that I apparently wasn't remembering it all that correctly. Pretty much not at all. Yes, my mom had a friend she hung out with regularly and they did listen to music a lot and he did get shipped out to Vietnam. However, he was not killed there. And, now that I look at the release date for "Here Comes the Sun," I'm not entirely sure that could've possibly been their song since it came out in 1969, which I believe is after my mom finished her undergraduate work at college. Maybe there is something I'm missing. Maybe grad school friend? Maybe not even from school? I dunno.
However, despite these conflicting details, I still love the story and like to think of it as true because it holds a certain romantic appeal in a time of great personal and political upheaval.
I guess I should consider myself lucky in that I've never been personally touched by loss of a close friend or family member in any of the more recent wars in which our country has been involved. Yes, I know people who know people who... you get it. But in terms of one degree of separation between myself and a person who was killed in action, I know no one.
My grandfather was supposed to be a pilot in the Army Air Corps in WWII, but that never quite panned out. My dad enlisted for Navy duty in Vietnam and was sent on a tour of the Med instead. My uncle joined the Marine Corps right around the time that 'Nam was fizzling out so I don't think he was ever deployed. And I've had some friends in the most recent Gulf War and all made it back intact.
I do think I'm lucky in this regard.
But not everybody is quite so blessed.
AmyD is a fellow blogger who I've known about for some time but only started reading yesterday after being guided there by Avitable and Sheila. Amy's on a quest to help her uncle find an old friend who he lost track of during the Vietnam War. Here's the information from her site and you can feel free to click on through for more information about the search.
Gene Bishop is looking for Charles Stevens. Here’s all the info I have on Stevens:
Charles R Stevens- Indianapolis, Indiana (from there)
2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, Echo Company, Da Nang, August 1966-1967
Weapons Platoon, Machine Gun
Graduated from Camp Pendelton and served in Da Nang with Gene Bishop. They trained and graduated together, and spent 48 hours in Okinawa awaiting transit together. They were separated upon arriving at Da Nang Air Force Base, Gene Bishop and Stevens served together until Bishop was wounded in Operation Stone, in 1967 and shipped out to Guam, and then Oakland Naval Hospital in the States.
If you have any information please email me (amy AT amysmusings DOT com) or my mom (mkgssong AT yahoo DOT com). Thank you!!
Anything that you can do to help is greatly appreciated by Amy and her family. Even if it's just passing on word of this search on your own blog. The bigger the audience, the better the chance of reconnecting.
I'm posting this because I realize how strong a community the blogosphere is and I think it would be fantastic if someone who's reading one of these sites that's posting about it actually has some information that could help. Here's hoping!