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My Quiet Hero
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When we entered Vietnam, we became suddenly aware that we were entering into the heart of darkness and the edge of civilization; but we entered.. Our Country was beckoning...Illusion and reality blended into the landscape, and time, as we knew it, stopped!
We now became...Brothers in Arms.
~Curtesy of Doc Gecko~

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Bernie & Linda's Song
Paradise by the Dash board lights
By:  Meatloaf

Agent Orange in Vietnam

I lost my best friend today I cant believe its true,

Or did I really lose him when Vietnam was through.

It has been so many years,

That I watched him board that plane,

Never knowing why back then

That it would never be the same.

The government lied to us,

As they have to all mankind

And sprayed that dirty stuff around

To kill foliage on the ground.

The thing they didnt tell us

Is how it would affect

The heroes that came home from there

And how it would react.

Many many years later

We face this dirty demon,

That lay dormant in the body

Till the illnesses come a-screaming.

It is not right, it is unfair

To have their lives cut short, because of Agent Orange they sprayed

And covered the reports.

Now its time to take our stand,

Make other people aware

It isnt that we lost them today,

We lost them over there.

It is a terrible thing

That our Heros had to go through

The fighting in a foreign land

To keep it away from me and you.

Just remember as you read this,

They stole my love from me,

Because of Agent Orange they sprayed

To kill those lousy trees.

I lost my best friend today, I cant believe its true,

Or did I really loose him when Vietnam was through

~(c)Linda Berry~

 

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No More

I use to be the princess that was put upon a throne,

But now it is the other way and all of that is gone.

I miss the cuddling at night and the phone calls from his work,

The eye to eye contact, now Im on alert

Go here Go there not a minute is to waste

In and out and up and down,

Emotions on my face

I try hard not to show it

That Im tired and worn out,

Another day another time,

Ill have time to sit and pout.

The flowers used to come and the candy to my door

Those days forever gone now

and they will be no more.

Just to hear the words I love you and the nussle on my neck,

the chills that it would cause,

no more so what the heck?

Hes in a better place now,

Looking down on me and you,

Someday well meet again,

I know this to be true.

~(C) Linda Berry~

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A Good Friend's Farewell
 
Bernie, I know you are now in the Great Beyond or as you, Linda and myself would call "the Great Jukebox in the Sky".  Well now that you and the Big Guy are buddies, tell him that I'm still down here and need his help. I've known you a little over three years, we laughed a lot, cried a little and shared our Nam experiences like life-long buddies.  We've both shared our cancer struggles and helped each other.  Your courage has given me renewed inspiration to fight my health problems more than ever.   I wish that I could of spent more time together with you this past year, but as you know i've had additional adjustments to my life, that did not stop my prayers and thoughts for you and Linda. Your passing has saddened me deeply, I think about my other Nam friends over the last ten years that have died years before their time, due to agent orange or PTSD.  Our government sent us over as "Brave young men", we left a part of ourselves over there, and came back,  as our government would think of us,"as faceless numbers".  Well Bernie, your past this now.   You are still a Warrior, my Hero and Friend.
 
I love you Guy, 
Ron

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Mom

You're facing a challenge.
And there's probably
a part of you that wishes you could
run and hide......that is normal.
The unknown can be scary.
But I'd like to think that's why
you have people like me
who care about you and who know
that you're a lot stronger than you think!
I've always admired your courage
and the fact that you always come through
when the chips are down, and that's when it counts.
So it's okay if you have moments of doubt.
Just be assured
that I don't doubt you for a minute!
You've never been one to run from a challenge,
and you won't now.
And that's good,
'cause it's only when
you step out into the unknown
that you discover
YOU CAN FLY!
  (Linda Lee Elrod)

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I read this and just busted out laughing,
his humor was neverending.
Thank You Karen!
 
My name is Karen Kaczmarek, Bernie Berry was my
friend.
I have a cute story to tell about my friend. One day I
was driving Bernie to radition, and we were in a hurry
and of course I'm yelling some unkind words to the
other drivers when all of a sudden Bernie says to me,
KAREN!! and very seriously says to me you need to go
to counseling with me, I looked a little perplexed,
and he says to me with that smile of his, you have
road rage worse than me.
One thing that I appreciated in getting to know Bernie
was no matter how sick he was on any given day he
always took the time to cheer others up. Another fact
or something I observed was the impact he made on
peoples lives, family and friends. I want to say it
was a privilege and an honor to have known Bernie and
he will remain in my heart forever as a good friend
with a big heart. I know he is up there having a great
time with all his other Nam buddies, who like Bernie
left this world to soon.
 
 

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OK Jackie this is a card that you and ginger and your Mom gave to my parents after your mom's Mom passed away.  I thought you may want to add it onto the beautiful sight your creating.  You are awesome by the way.  That sight will touch so many peoples hearts Jackie.  I am proud of what you have done.  I love you.  Love you Angie


"Thanks"
Is Not Enough
THOUGHTS FROM THE WRITINGS OF EMILY MATTHEWS


When someone reaches out to help us through when times are tough,
It does so much to give us hope and brighten up our day, And through our thanks is genuine, it is never quite enough,
Compared to all the happiness their kindness brings our way.

"Thanks" is not enough-
when someone cares
the way you care-
To tell you
so you really understand
How much it means to have
the warm encouragement
you share,
To know you're always there
to lend a hand.
"Thanks" is only part
of all the heartfelt gratitude
These special wishes
offer you today,
It's one of many thank-you's
for your caring attitude,
For every thoughtful thing
you do and say.....

"Thanks" is just a portion
of a deep appreciation
For sharing so much goodness
from your heart,
Your kindnesses
are such a source of joy and inspiration.
That "Thanks" is not enough-
it's just a start.



Love, Linda, Jackie, and Ginger

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COLORGUARD -a day for my friends

The banners are flying , the band is in place .
Along the street the crowd's smiling a trace,
and the sun is shining, but not on his face.

Police cars, fire trucks, clowns all in line,
balloons in the air in hopes of a good time.
Given a number, the groups all await,
the blast of the sirens,the opening of the gates!
Then the call (Fall In!!!), at attention we stand
old uniforms and new, don't we look grand?
The uniforms we wore, when we fought for this land!

Old Glory, the red white and blue, stands tall on it's pole,
as I remember you brothers, in a cage, or in a rat infested hole.
In rank and in file as we march down the street,
People applaud, an old vet salutes, ain't FREEDOM sweet?
Teenagers cry, known only by old scrapbooks torn apart,
and held by their mothers, possessing a flag and a purple heart.

People remember the VietNam war it's true,
But I remember the warrior who gave his ALL for you.

Today's a grand day but my heart sheds a tear,
for the family of the VETERAN who couldn't be here.

Brother of mine I can hear you call,
even though your name's etched on the wall.
You'd be here if you could, if your country would but try,
instead of denying something some twenty years by.

There are two thousand five hundred reasons why I march today,
Two thousand five hundred reasons why I pray.

I wear a uniform not unlike the one you wore,
when last I saw you, during the war.
Loved ones surround me as I awake in a cold sweat,
or when I rage uncontrollably, not knowing why they fret.
Around me my friends are dying, by an assassin they're hexed.
Agent Orange like a time bomb ticks away, will I be next?

After years of counseling, mostly giving my all,
I'm in control of my life, I now stand tall?
Thoughts invade me, will my own son get the call?
A call from a country who apathetically cares,
a call from a country, do they really dare?
to send sons into battle, then deny them their rights.
to send sons into battle, tell them to kill and to fight?
To come home to loved ones who don't understand,
or who have plotted against them, for that right they fought and died in that land.

This is the reason you died my brother, so they'd have the right,
This is the reason I march my brother, either day or night.

written July 1988
~Robert A. Judd~

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Missing

How many men in the jungle
Pray every night to come home
How they suffer in silence
Lonely and cold to the bone
Lonely and cold to the bone

How many families suffer
Waiting for word of their love
How long will it take Uncle Sammy
To get off his ass and get em home
Get off his ass and get em home

      Oh they say theyve tried all there is to try
      But its a lie
      And like the war its politicized
      Its a crime

How can they forsake their warriors
Like theyve never done before
How can they forget the soldiers
Lost in the unwanted war
Lost in the unwanted war
War

©Robert Schweitzer
circa 1984 - 1985

I want to thank Mr. Schweitzer for allowing

 me the honor of using his work on this site.

Welcome Home Mr. Schweitzer!

Follow the link for more from Mr. Schweitzer

http://www.iwvpa.net/schweitzerr/index.htm

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"They Stood As Brothers"

With sadness of heart and tears in my eyes
I think of the soldiers who have fought and died
I remember each one with a thankful heart
Recalling how each one did his part.

They stood as brothers side-by-side
Defending Old Glory's honor and pride
Crawling around in the desert sand
Lending each other a helping hand.

Watching conrades fall one by one
Watching until the war was won
Hurting, hurting deep inside
They still fought on side-by-side.

Another soldier called to his eternal home
Never again on this earth to roam
Conrades kneeling beside his grave
Who will never forget why his life he gave.

Freedoms aren't free in life you see
Many a soldier's have died for you and me
To their memory lets be true
Everytime we look at the red,white and blue.

To the soldiers and veterans still alive
Lets show them our patriotic pride
Give them a hug and thank you too
And don't forget to tell them...God bless you.

Author: Gloria J. Shuttleworth
Copyright 2003

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"A Soldier I am"

A soldier I am

Yes I am

And proud to be,

United I stand.

Proud to serve my country well,

A soldier I am

Not afraid to tell

A soldier I am.

Yes I am.

Ill sulute the flag that is flying high

And all my peers as they walk by

A soldier I am,

Yes I am,

And proud to be,

A soldier I am

To protect the people all around

And keep my beliefs

And stand my ground

A soldier I am,

Yes I am,

To protect and serve

This beautiful land.

A soldier I am,

Yes I am,

A soldier I am Till the very end.

(C) By Linda Berry

3/18/01

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A Roller Coaster Ride

A roller coaster ride it seems to be

With each breath you take, while with me

A long hard struggle it has been

Then what is left but the end?

Each day I look to see you suffer

And only wish I could take the trouble

You are having inside of you

I would gladly share some pain for you.

You are my hero and sent from God

To be in my life and the one I love

We have shared a lot in all the years

And I have had to hide my many tears

I dont know what I will do in the end,

When the Angels come that God will send

I can see you slipping away from me

It is hard, but it has to be

Ill love you the rest of my life

And I always will,

Be your wife

Walk on your journey

And keep in mind

There will be no other that I could find

Youre my lover, my confidant and my friend

Until we meet again in the end.

In tribute to my wonderful husband

I will always love you

(c) Linda Berry

2002

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YOU ARE A GOOD WOMAN

A good woman is proud of herself.
She respects herself and others.
She is aware of who she is.
She neither seeks definition from the person she is with,
nor does she expect them to read her mind.
She is quite capable of articulating her needs.

A good woman is hopeful.
She is strong enough to make all her dreams come true.
She knows love, therefore she gives love.
She recognizes that her love has great value and must be reciprocated
(or she turns blue choking, as if her breath is taken from her).
When her love is taken for granted, it crushes her heart.

A good woman has a dash of inspiration and a dabble of endurance.
She inspires others to reach the potential God gave them.
She knows her past, understands her present and manifests her future.

A good woman does not live in fear of the future because of her past.
Instead, she understands that her life experiences are merely lessons, meant
to bring
her closer to self-knowledge and unconditional self love.

I didn't write this but it is something I try to live by and I thought I would pass it on to the girls in my life.

Print it out, hang it up and remember you are a good women.

Love you all

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Received this via email
 
The average age of the military man is 19 years. He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country. He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father's; but he has never collected unemployment either. 

 He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and 155mm howizzitor. He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk.

He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must. He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional. He can march until he is told to stop or stop until he is told to march. 
 
He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity. He is self-sufficient. He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry. He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts. If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food. He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.

He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands. He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job. He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay and still find ironic humor in it all. He has seen more suffering and death then he should have in his short lifetime.

He has stood atop mountains of dead bodies, and helped to create them. He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed. He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away' those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking. In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful. 

Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years. 

He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding. Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood. And now we even have woman over there in danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to War when our nation calls us to do so. As you go to bed tonight, remember this shot.. A short lull, a little shade and a picture of loved ones in their helmets. 

"Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen."
 
Please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our ground troops in Afghanistan, sailors on ships, and airmen in the air, and for those in Iraq. Of all the gifts you could give a US Soldier, Sailor, Coastguardsman, Marine or Airman, prayer is the very best one.

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My Quiet Hero

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