Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Have You Forgotten Him?

The navy pilot pictured in this newspaper article is Lt. Ron Dodge being escorted by Vietnamese soldiers. This picture first appeared in the Paris Match in 1967 and has appeared on the cover of Life magazine as well as on the cover of over five million VIVA brochures. Every place that this image has been featured, it has aways been accompanied by Lt. Dodge's name. However when the North Vietnamese gave our government what they called a "Complete" list of Prisoners of War his name was not there. He is one of many whom there was proof of capture, whose names were never found on any list handed over by their captors.

I was among many people that wore a POW/MIA bracelet. I wore mine until I developed an allergy to the metal in it and broke out in a rash. I battled that rash with creams and even tried coating the back of the bracelet with finger nail polish. Nothing worked and I eventually placed it in my jewelry box. I still watched for the name, Maj. Lawrence N. Helber in every news article I came across concerning POW/MIAs. His aircraft went down over enemy territory on January 24, 1966. 

I have since done a google search and found information at the The U.S. Veteran Dispatch . The information page for Maj. Helber can be found here if you would like to read about him. He never returned home to Logan, Ohio and his family. 

At the end of the write up on Maj. Helber there is a paragraph that I have copied and will paste as the closing words of this post. I couldn't find a better way of saying it than the original words that were written.

"Military men in Vietnam were called upon to fly and fight in many dangerous circumstances, and they were prepared to be wounded, killed or captured. It probably never occurred to them that they could be abandoned by the country they so proudly served." ~ The U.S. Veteran Dispatch

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mosaic Monday

Children Of War
I have always believed that no matter what the war is called or on what shore the war is waged, the children are the ones that ultimately pay the price. Among the numerous news articles that were tucked inside the pages of the Viet Nam Cease Fire scrapbook that I have been sharing with you were these. I won't add a lot of wordy comments and thoughts to the pictures. Just the captions that were below them. They pretty much speak for themselves.

Near Michelin Plantation, these two children struggle with a large sack as they flee a battle. 

Four children on a highway near Pleiku back-pack their possessions and head for a refugee camp.

A young girl rocks her baby sister in a hammock at Long Thanh, which was destroyed during a firefight.

At Bu Chi, which was destroyed in fighting, a bicycle wheel is all that this tot has to remember his father.
It's a happy and a little bit uncomfortable moment for Maj. Hayden J. Lockhart Jr. as he meets for the first time, his 7 year old son, Jamie, at Travis Air Force Base.
You are probably wondering why I added this last picture with the first four. The first years of a child's life are the years when those lasting child/parent bonds form. I can only imagine the struggle that this father and son had building those bonds after 7 years.

Wouldn't it be nice if mankind would find another way to settle their differences? Just saying!

Why not join me at at the Little Red House to visit some more mosaic presentations. Have a Blessed Day!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The First And The Last

Other than the families of these two brave Americans, I wonder how many people know the names of the first and the last Americans to die in Viet Nam.

The first American to die was Spec. 4 Tom Davis of Livingston, Tenn. He was killed December 22, 1961 near Duc Hoa while serving as an adviser.

The last American to die was Lt. Col. William Nolde of Mount Pleasant, Mich. He was killed at An Loc during an artillery barrage 11 hours before the cease fire.

Joyce Nolde, lays a rose on the casket of her husband in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington. Taps sound as Lt. Col. William Nolde is laid to rest. Left behind was his wife Joyce and his five children ranging in age from 12 to 19.

"I will remember the names of these men for the rest of my life."
That was my thought as I read this small article in the Honolulu Advertiser giving tribute to the first and the last Americans to die in Viet Nam while serving our country.

The troops came home, the POWs were released and many of the MIAs remained missing. Life returned to normal and I eventually didn't remember their names.

There was something that I never forgot though. It was the great sacrifice that was made by these two men and the countless brave Americans who died between the first and the last casualties of the war in Viet Nam.

Viet Nam touched everyone's lives in some way. How could it not, when every evening it was right there being played out over and over again in our living rooms on the news. As tragic as it was it was happening to other people and I was just sort of a witness to history. 

The day came though, that Viet Nam got right in my face and became up close and personal to me. I was shopping that day and the store that I was in was playing the local radio station over the loud speakers. At that time the D. J.s at the radio stations read a daily updated list of the names of local men and women that had died in Viet Nam. I heard the name Dean Pope come out of those speakers and hang there in the air. My heart fell to my feet. Dean was a friend and the husband of one of my best friends. He had received his orders shortly after their wedding day. Before leaving though, Dean and Liz had enough time to conceive a baby resulting in a beautiful baby boy that was born while Dean was fighting in Viet Nam. He didn't have much time left on his tour of duty when his life was taken. Never would he hold his son in his arms. Never would he be there beside Liz to help her raise their son. 

There were many stories like this that played out across this country every single day that the War in Viet Nam waged on.. 

Where were you when Viet Nam first became personal for you? 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Pieces Of The Past

Last weekend Theresa brought a large scrapbook to me that I had given to her quite a few years ago. She is now in the process of moving and needed a safe place for it until she gets settled into her new home. This scrapbook is the keeper of memories from major events in our lifetime.

Among those memories can be found newspaper articles all about the release of the POW's following the end of the Viet Nam war. We were living at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii at the time and I was obsessed with collecting anything I could find concerning the POWs. Other news of major events that were tucked inside that scrapbook was the shooting of President Reagan, The release of the 52 American hostages after being held in Iran for 444 days and the tragic loss of the astronauts aboard the space shuttle Challenger.

Look what else I found safely stored within the pages of this wonderful book of memories! A photo of President and Mrs Nixon and their daughter and son-in-law. We were living at MCAS El Toro, California at the time of his stop over at the base and was fortunate enough to capture this historical moment on film. Although MCAS El Toro has since been closed and no longer exist, it did have it's moments in the lime light.

Is there anyone among us that doesn't recall this great moment? I remember being glued to the television when they broadcast this wonderful unselfish effort. I remember being so touched by the song and these gifted performers that tears streamed down my face. 

In the days and weeks to follow, I will be sharing the contents of some of these news articles and memories of my thoughts and feelings at the time they occurred. Until next time, may the blessings of Peace, Love and Happiness rain down on you.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Share The Joy Thursday

This week has been one of those rare ones that is not packed full of doctors appointments and any number of errands to run. Meaning plain and simply {{WE}} time for J.D. and I. Having put a few things on hold for a while, we decided that we would take care of some of those things on Tuesday. I am thinking that it would be difficult for the average urban dweller to grasp the fact that when you live in the country in the Midwest and you say you are 'going to town', it is still a country experience.  

 Our trip to town included a trip to the post office to place a couple of packages in the mail. I seldom go to the post office any more since they now sell postage stamps at the grocery stores. For whatever strange reason that is a part of me, I have always enjoyed going to the post office. It rates right up the with book stores, art supply shops and and office supply stores, where I am concerned. These places are a treat to my senses. So I was looking forward to the trip to our little Post Office. 

As I took my place in line at the Post Office I was in a good mood because we had already taken care of two things that we had put off for quite a while. 

That good mood turned to plain and simple JOY! when from the far reaches of our little post office I heard the morning song of a rooster....... !!! Now I am no stranger to going to the post office in the spring and hearing the sounds of little biddies coming from the back of the post office, but this was a first for me. I have never heard a rooster's song coming from the back room. This was early afternoon so his clock was off by quite a few hours. It just reaffirmed for me that spring is right around the corner, bringing a smile to my face and lifting my soul from a good mood to pure JOY!

What brought you JOY! this week? 
Come Share The JOY!

Have a BLESSED and JOYFUL week!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Follow Me Friday

I know this is going to come as shock to many, but I woke up this morning and discovered that it had snowed again. Yes, sometime in the night or early morning hours Mother Nature decided that the children that live in this area were in need of another day off from school. Californians, as well as many European countries are familiar with year round schools. It is beginning to look as if this school district is going to become familiar with it too, without even planning to go that route. If I am not mistaken all of the allotted snow days for the school year were used up before the end of December. Usually when they go over their limit, they take away days from spring break to use as make up days. They do this so they won't have to run the make up days too far into summer vacation. All of that isn't looking too promising at this point. I just hope the senior class will get this year finished in time to start fall classes at the universities of their individual choices.

If you have followed Moodscapes for any length of time you will remember that at end of this past summer we put our house on the market in hopes of getting it sold so we can move to town. There were many factors involved in our decision to do this. However, we cancelled the contract with the Realtors right before the holidays. During that time there was only one nibble, but the couple that was interested were wanting to buy on land contract. I had a bad experience with a land contract before and we weren't interested in taking that avenue, so they never came to look at the house.  

We received a message the other day that someone else had inquired about the house and are we still interested in selling. With the real estate market as slow as it is right now, we decided to list the house again in hopes that we can get it sold before winter rolls around again. This means that our plates are going to be pretty full for the next few days getting the cob webs knocked down and preparing the house to be shown again. With a few breaks in the mix for me to have blood work done, a follow up appointment on Tuesday with the doctor for the results of the MRI of my brain  and then on Wednesday I am scheduled for a needle biopsy. Wish us luck on all of this.

I'm taking part in 'Follow Me Friday'. Lydia @ Still On The Verge is hosting this weekly event. It looks like a great way to find new blogs, make new friends and get new followers. So why not take a few minutes and click your way over to see Lydia and join the fun. Don't forget to add yourself as a new follower here at Moodscapes before you go. You will find the Follow Me Widget on my side bar.

Have a Blessed Weekend!


Monday, January 24, 2011

Mosaic Monday

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.  ~Anne Bradstreet

After three months of being laid off and struggling with everything from the finances to finding another job, my daughter is once more gainfully employed. With a little networking, a few phone calls, an immediate interview and she was hired on the spot Friday and is starting her first day on a new job today. Our God is so Awesome. Lots of prayers went up and God's abundant love came pouring down. A huge amount of Thanks to all those that kept those prayers going up.

  May you be wrapped in a quilt of God's warm blessings until your springtime arrives.
Join me at the Little Red House to visit more blogs taking part in Mosaic Monday.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Share The Joy Thursday

Life takes many twists and turns along the way. You follow the path as it is laid out for you and try not to question HOW, WHO or WHY. There is sorrow, pain and disappointment along the way that you tend to carry with you. You need to examine these things and study them for a while to understand what you are supposed to learn from them. At some point though you must lay the sorrow, pain and disappointment aside. Hopefully the journey will be long and unless these experiences are set aside they become heavy and burdensome until they become overwhelming and are all that we see and feel.

While traveling on this same path there are experiences that would otherwise be the same, that needs to be laid aside after studying except for one reason. That reason being the people or person in your life at that time. An experience that could be unpleasant can instantly be turned into one that brings laughter and JOY! all because of the reaction to the action.

Such is the experience of falling down (not a good thing for someone that has two new knees) and being pulled out of the snow and ice by the love of your life. So many times since we have begun our journey together, my husband has helped turn what could have been my unpleasant experiences and heavy baggage into backpack memories that I can carry with me because they are light and JOYful. 

The JOY! that I share with you today is my husband, J.D. 

Why not join me at Meri's Musings 
to share in more JOY!

May your journey be blessed with JOY!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The House With Nobody In It

by: Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)
      HENEVER I walk to Suffern along the Erie track
      I go by a poor old farmhouse with its shingles broken and black.
      I suppose I've passed it a hundred times, but I always stop for a minute
      And look at the house, the tragic house, the house with nobody in it.
      I never have seen a haunted house, but I hear there are such things;
      That they hold the talk of spirits, their mirth and sorrowings.
      I know this house isn't haunted, and I wish it were, I do;
      For it wouldn't be so lonely if it had a ghost or two.
      This house on the road to Suffern needs a dozen panes of glass,
      And somebody ought to weed the walk and take a scythe to the grass.
      It needs new paint and shingles, and the vines should be trimmed and tied;
      But what it needs the most of all is some people living inside.
      If I had a lot of money and all my debts were paid
      I'd put a gang of men to work with brush and saw and spade.
      I'd buy that place and fix it up the way it used to be
      And I'd find some people who wanted a home and give it to them free.
      Now, a new house standing empty, with staring window and door,
      Looks idle, perhaps, and foolish, like a hat on its block in the store.
      But there's nothing mournful about it; it cannot be sad and lone
      For the lack of something within it that it has never known.
      But a house that has done what a house should do, a house that has sheltered life,
      That has put its loving wooden arms around a man and his wife,
      A house that has echoed a baby's laugh and held up his stumbling feet,
      Is the saddest sight, when it's left alone, that ever your eyes could meet.
      So whenever I go to Suffern along the Erie track
      I never go by the empty house without stopping and looking back,
      Yet it hurts me to look at the crumbling roof and the shutters fallen apart,
      For I can't help thinking the poor old house is a house with a broken heart.

"The House with Nobody in It" was originally published in Trees and Other Poems. Joyce Kilmer. New York: George H. Doran Company, 1914.

A special thank you to my dear friend Ellie Mae at 'Over Good Ground' for pointing me in the direction of this poem. I wasn't quite ready to walk away from yesterday's post and this poem seemed to be what I needed to finalize it. You Know me so well, my friend.

May God hold you in the palm of His hand. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mosaic Monday

To look at this house today, most people would just dismiss it as an old run down, forgotten house that is slowly being reclaimed by nature. However a closer look and a listening ear might tell a story of a happy young couple that once made this house their home. A home where they planned to raise their four children. A home filled with love, happiness and laughter. A home where music was plentiful. A home where evening entertainment for the children might be shadow puppets done my their mother.

Life can turn cruel when you least expect it though. My husband's father was 37 years old when TB took his life. Suddenly J.D.'s mother found herself a single parent with four children to raise on her own. J.D. was 9 years old and remembers the day that his daddy died and how he felt as he watched him being carried away. 

The shell of the house that was once home to J.D. and his brothers and sister still stands. The memories that they share, keeps their childhood home from fading into the landscape.   

Join me at Mary's Little Red House For links to more Mosaic Monday participants. Have a blessed week.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Share The Joy Thursday

As the snow continues to fall outside my window on this fine Thursday morning, I am finding my JOY in the warmth radiating from the little wood stove in the kitchen and a soothing cup of coffee.
I was hoping to share whatever news I received yesterday about my MRI results, but due to obstacles beyond my control I didn't make it to the doctor's office. The sheriff's office had issued a Snow Emergency Level 1 warning until 7PM. A Level 1 warning means that the roads are hazardous and may be icy in places. To reach the main roads, we first need to travel 5 miles down J.D.'s mountain. By 10AM I still hadn't seen or heard the snow plow bopping up and down our road performing it's magic with that road salt. Taking all of this into consideration, J.D. and I decided it would probably be best to reschedule my appointment. So now we wait until February 2nd for those results.
I have appointments coming up the first of next week to discuss two other test results with other doctors. God willing and we don't get hammered with another snow storm come Monday morning, I should have at least a few answers by Tuesday.
Why not join us at 'Share The Joy Thursday' and share what has brought JOY into your life. May you find blessings in all that you do today!