|Sgt. Brown, left and LT Shell, right are saluted by Pack 405 Cub Scouts|
My two sons, who are six and eight years old know the difference between Memorial Day and Veteran's Day. They'd be happy to educate anyone who doesn't know the difference. The Saturday before Memorial Day, my boys and I participate in honoring the service of our Country's Military by placing American Flags on the graves of men and women who served in the Civil War spanning to present day Wars. Pack 405 take great pride in placing the flags. They even clean head stones of debris.
This year LT Shell and Sgt. Brown from the local VFW, who sponsor Pack 405 accompanied the Cub Scouts to the three cemeteries. They provided the flags for the kids to place on the graves. At the final cemetery, which is the oldest cemetery Sgt. Brown gave me and my boys a tour educating us about local history. My eight year old has been studying local history, he had a plethora of questions for Sgt Brown. Sgt. Brown answered every one of my son's questions with pride. When my son started asking questions about Sgt. Brown's service his voice turned quite.
Sgt. Brown survived three tours in Vietnam as a Flight Engineer on a Chinook helicopter for the Army. Sgt. Brown's Chinook crashed after he was shot down. He was rescued, but by the look in his eyes, I'm not sure if everyone in his crew survived.
Sgt. Brown was eighteen years old when he was called to serve his Country. He proudly served in the Army for eleven years. My boys aren't old enough to really understand Vietnam, but they do know our Veteran's were treated horribly upon returning home. We talked about that a little bit with Sgt. Brown, who confirmed he had been spit on.
For the most part I let my boys carry the conversation with Sgt. Brown seeing he enjoyed having young people who were sincerely interested in what he had seen and done. My oldest told me in the car later, "It was pretty neat talking to Sgt. Brown today. He's a living History book. That's pretty cool."
Sgt. Brown made a few comments that revealed his time in Vietnam, the memories of what he saw, and those he lost are still with him 50 years later. My boys and I are honored he shared some of those memories with us today.
There are several Military Friends and Gold Star Families on my mind this weekend, Sgt. Brown included. He and LT Shell helped the Vietnam War become more than just a story to my boys, for that I thank him. For all those who have lost their lives serving this great country, and those who have loved them, Your Sacrifice has not gone unnoticed.
|Vietnam Veterans Memorial Washington D.C., 2011|