Well today was another sad day as we said our Good-Byes to yet another Viet Nam Veteran. This guy was special Dale Stringham. Dale it was my Honor to know you and to call you my Brother.
Semper Fidelis; Always Faithful
Dale was a really Great guy that had a vision to start a local veterans group. Well back in the seventy’s the VFW or American Legion really didn’t want the Viet Nam vets. Well as the press said we were Baby Killers and Dope heads and just plain Crazy.
I always think back as a Viet Nam Veteran it was something you didn’t talk about to anyone as someone would ask. How many Baby's did you Kill. I don’t think I’ll ever get over that. I think now Dale gave us the Pride to say
I’m a Viet Nam Veteran and Dam Proud of It.
Well let’s see on day I got a post card some forty years ago. Welcome to a new chapter of the Viet Nam Veterans of America. Please come to the meeting at Mickey's Tap in the basement. Well I nothing else to do so I went, now I’m not a club person. Heck I don’t like crowds or for that matter People. I remember to this day I met a couple really neat guys. I sat next to this Good Old Boy named Denny Fox and met Dale Stringham. The chapter took some where around a year to get formed.
We were Official Viet Nam Veterans Chapter 153. I think it took Dale a month to get the smile off his face as his dream was real. Someone got the idea that we needed to give back. We I’m not sure just how many local Parades we Marched in but my feet still Hurt.
I think back as I remember how many great things Dale pushed the Chapter into doing, well we are veterans and need pushing. There was a screening for Agent Orange, also going to see consoler for treatment of PTSD that a lot of guys suffered from. Heck it took me forty years to get help I argued with the VA Dr’s that I was fine. Ok Dr. you were right.
The story I love the best was a late night phone call from Dale wanting to hold a Bingo Night. I thought Ok Dale is nuts too, but he told me about being Hospitalized and being Broke. Dale went on to tell me they held a Bingo and he won a couple Bucks. We went out of our way to hold this Bingo at the North side VA Hospital. I think Dale was one Happy Marine that night.
Dale would always be reading newsletters from other chapters. Yep I thought the guy was just plain smart. Well chapter wise the plain was go to Washington DC to the wall and Dedication of the Honor Guards over looking the wall. That was November 11 Veterans Day. The Wall the most Moving place on earth. I think back of the 58,000 plus names on that Granite.
Good Bye my friend !! Until we meet Again !!