4 thoughts on “To All of my Brothers and Sisters who served in the Nam…

  1. John Slagle

    Thanks Mark, great sentiments. An old Salt seagoing Marine attached to the Kitty Hawk in 1966 sent the following information regarding Lt.Cdr. Gerald Coffee U.S.N. recon squadron 13 who was shot down and held as a POW on 2/3/1966. Coffee’s navigator was killed per NVA militia. I had mentioned that Cdr. Coffee was released from the Hanoi prison camp in 1969 which was not correct. He was held as a POW until 2/12/1973. The following interesting link was sent re; Bio, Coffee, Gerald L. Jerry.


  2. Mark

    While Struggling To Be Strong

    Too painful to remember
    too horrific to forget

    Flashbacks of the past
    but then again yet

    Can it be the trials
    and prices that were paid

    Add up to the sum
    of the man I am today?

    And can it be in fire
    survival was learned

    While struggling to be strong
    character was earned

    Then coming of age
    The man I am was born

    The fight will never end
    And the protected can never comprehend

    The cost of their freedom and liberty…

  3. John Slagle

    Outstanding Mark. Also remembered are all those who served .The first pilot shot down and captured as a P.O.W. in North Vietnam was Navy Lt. JG. Everett Alvarez . Lt.Cdr. Bob Shumaker, and Lt. Cdr. Gerald Coffee , aboard the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk F-8 pilots in 1966 were also brought down with surface to air missiles and captured after ejection. As P.O.W.s until 1969, the men abided by the code of conduct. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy . Our POWs and MIAs should never be forgotten.

    Thanks Jeff for your service with medivac “dust off” missions and our W.I.A.s. whose lives were saved. Many were ten point federal hiring preference (purple heart) recipients in our early U.S.B.P. Academy classes in 1972. Some were killed on duty through the years but all loved their country and were some of the finest people to work with in the nation.

    To all our veterans, past and present, Merry Christmas and God Bless.

  4. Mark

    To buddies who have crossed the hill
    Whose laughter once rang loud and clear
    This moment finds us bowed and still
    Because you not answer “Here!”

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