Frank Pack, Vietnam veteran
Salem, Oregon, USA
I had a friend that got killed while standing next to me. He was wearing my shirt and I was looking at him as he died. All I can remember now about it is seeing my name and thinking that it was me. I was really freaked out for awhile, and I decided that I had to do all the things I did twice. Like once for me and once for Mike. I felt guilty for his death and blamed myself. I realize that I wasn't responsible for it. I just felt that the world suffered such a loss in his death, and someone needed to make up for it, and it had to be me. Mike didn't have much family. He was raised by his grandmother, and said that he didn't have any bros or sisters. Who else was going to remember him? Anyway. That was a long time ago. I have been through tons of counciling with the VA and others. I would never talk much about this, it was too hard to get through the story. I tried once or twice. I can talk about it now with out breaking down or anything. But I haven't forgot Mike and think about him almost dailey. It (Viet Nam) was a good experience in someways. Not good in others. I would do the same thing agin. Not that I believe in war. But I felt it was important for me to do my duty. I can't imagine what my life might have been like without a war in Viet Nam. I have no desire to ever go back there. I certainly don't think of it as a vacation spot like they are trying to convince people. One of the scariest things in my life since I came back was that one of my kids went over there twice, as a missionary. I can't talk to him about the trips he made. It is too hot of an issue to deal with. Thank you.