|DOC PARDUE'S REFLECTIONS....
My experiences as tough as they were can't and won't go away. I often wonder did we pay a price that
was too large--did we really make a difference--will they ever take what we learned and adjust the
training at Ft. Sam. Over the years, I just buried it all now I find I have to deal with all this crap and
get it over with. I feel very old and worn out and just struggle to make it one more day . I guess what
has made it all bareable is the people who I have that support me, my wife of 35 years, and the very
few who I have trusted enough to just see the outside of all I hold within and test the waters with
sharing a little. But with the ones who were THERE they, deep down, know of all the pain, the hurt,
the feelings of not being trained enough to keep that one alive, the loss of good men who died trying to
protect me. The other medics who know of the fear and the frustrations of the job and they too,
understand, the please help me God prayers as we treated the wounded. They understand the fear of
dying and the peeing in your pants during a firefight. But you didn't dare stop moving or someone
who needs you, who is depending on you to make it to them to get them out of harms way and to
bandage them up and to reassure them all is okay, isn't going to make it. The fear of while you are
working on someone of getting left behind as everyone is moving away from you. They know the silent
grieving and the hidden away rage that they carried all these years that is screaming to be let out. Will
the sound be too loud, will it scare those who don't really know you, or will you ever stop crying if you
begin? Oh how you pray for more than 2 hours of sleep at a time--and you wonder which face will you
see tonight which memory will awaken you once again. But somehow you face another day and are
thankful you made another one. Until it is time to finally go home. To find time to find a new life...a
better life...one without the death, blood, or body parts. But it never arrives...those things are still
there. Given as a reminder to be thankful that they aren't your parts, or your blood, or your death.
You learn to appreciate too the little things most people take for granted. You learn to be careful
with your words and have your back to a wall so you can see everyone and know where the exits are.
You learn to look at the world with a 1000 yard stare.
But, then comes the hope, as you learn how to share and resolve and rethink and to finally begin to
heal. The writing, the finally having the internet being created and you begin to connect with those
who did make it back to the world. You find a network of people who know, who care, who help you
move on, to finally begin to live with less pain. You can finally begin that process of coming ....ALL
THE WAY HOME....it is great to be an American, it is an honor to be a Vietnam Veteran, it is a
priviledge to be a father and grandfather, and it is with pride that I give my family this website as a
rememberance of who their dad and grandfather was and became.
Thirty-five years ago this month (March 23rd) I came HOME...forever touched and changed by a
war...a war I still live with in my mind, heart, and soul...it has taken me this long to finally overcome
the negatives and look at the posititves of my life, to where, I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW. This song
has become the theme-song of my life....Doc Pardue