Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Goodbye is never easy...

Remember what it feels like when the last day of school or summer camp is over and it's time to say goodbye to the people with whom you've shared so many hours of your life? There's a heaviness in your chest, a gloom that just won't lift no matter what you try. And despite the promises to stay in touch, you know things will never be the same from this day forward. Life will go on, and sadly, those faces who have meant so much, will eventually, disappear from your life forever.

That's kinda of how I'm feeling. After spending an exciting, and very emotional summer with the Bravo Company, a platoon of soldiers during the Vietnam war, I must accept the fact the series has ended...and without a happy-ever-after. Of course, I knew it couldn't end any other way, and yet as I watched all three seasons as Tour of Duty exposed the turbulent years 1967 through 1969, I prayed the men would return home safe and sound to smiling faces and warm embraces.

Sadly, that didn't happen.
Many of the young men who found themselves stationed there, eager to serve their country, were sent home in a body bag to a country who gave no consideration of what their lives had meant to their families or of the ultimate sacrifice they gave. The ones who did survive, returned wounded, scarred and disillusioned to a homeland that had turned its back on them. This award winning series opened my eyes to many issues of the Vietnam era I'd only heard of. There were examples of soldiers risking their lives to take a hill- many dying in the attempt- only  to be ordered to leave the area and let Charlie reclaim it. I also discovered that over the course of the war 18 million gallons of chemical war far we know as Agent Orange was sprayed over the jungles, the fields, and homes, and our men included. Because of this show, I understand now why this war was not won. It couldn't be. It was not our fight.

These episodes were heartbreaking. And yet, I'm glad to have watched the entire series. And to all the real men and women who served in Vietnam, a heartfelt thank you.