Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Army Reunions

Over the last few weeks I have been thinking about my Dad flying out of Philly today for a reunion of the Ivy Dragoons 3/8 4th ID (I think that's right)... The guy he was most looking forward to seeing recently lost his job and can't make the trip, but he's excited to see who else is there and I'm excited for him.

He recently got a book written by one of the guys in his battalion: Stars and Stripes and Shadows: How I Remember Vietnam and, much to his surprise, found himself in the book! (To his credit, he told me how much he loved the book BEFORE he discovered his name on the pages!) He says that Tim Haslam's writing is taking him back in time...

So with this departure on my mind this a.m. I happen to see a story about another Vietnam reunion that made me tear up over my egg white omelet:

"In their Army unit, the two men had been almost inseparable until July 12, 1967, when Perricone, after an intense fire fight, was captured near Cambodia, and disappeared into North Vietnam's prisoner of war gulag.

"We got ambushed, and we got hit pretty hard, then one of the sergeants yelled out that Perricone was missing," said Thompson, whose eyes welled often during an interview in his living room. "I've lived with this for 42 years - flashbacks, nightmares."

Until Sunday, neither man - now in their mid-60s - knew whether the other had survived the war.

"I called out to my wife in the kitchen and said, 'Tina, Perricone is alive!' " Thompson said. "I was shaking and crying. I looked him up and called him right away. My wife said it's too early to call, but I said I've been wondering about this man for 42 years." (Read the whole story)

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