Wednesday, May 18, 2005

An Open Letter and Civilian Salute to Shakey Pete

I visited the Carnival of the Vanities today and saw lots of well written entries by many different bloggers. Most, I suppose, are trying to move a little farther up the blogger food chain and stake their claim somewhere in the thin air of the Ecosystem. Others may simply be yearning for their voices to be heard by more than just family members. I guess I would put myself somewhere between the two extremes.

I missed the entry, "Missed Anniversary", by Peter Davis when I first glanced at the Carnival this morning. I should be ashamed. Maybe it was the heavy eyes, maybe it was some desire to see my name in lights or my hit counter go up. Whatever it was, it's not important now.

After I read the post submitted by Shakey Pete, those things seemed much more insignificant than they were when the day started. This is a man who served in Vietnam from 1964-1970. He walked side by side with death on a daily basis, he watched friends die, lost years of sleep, and is riddled with survivors guilt.

He's going to the wall in D.C. to pay his respects to those he served with years ago, in fact, he may have already been. I don't really know. I do know that Pete will be in my prayers before I retire each night, because he fought for me and held my life and liberty in the palms of his hands. That is something I can never repay him for.

Pete's story reminded me of the times when I talked with my grandmother about my great-uncle, her brother. I was young at the time, but I remember her saying that he served in World War II and fought at Iwo Jima. He didn't help hoist the flag on Mt. Suribachi, but he was there,she said, and he never talked about it. He's gone now so the story has gone with him, but the memory I have of him, has, and always will be the same: HERO.

I feel the same about Pete after reading his story today. He served his country and he came home to see his family grow. I can't begin to imagine the difficulty he has faced in his daily life after experiencing the things he has experienced, but he has dealt with it the best he could in my humble view, much the same as my great-uncle did.

Pete, I hope the demons stay at the wall when you leave, and your pillow is soft upon your return. I hope you find what you are looking for and return with the peace you so richly deserve. You've earned it!

May God bless You Shakey Pete!

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