Dear Ma,

19 08 2010

The other day we ventured out to Green Hill Park  It’s a great park!  It has a playground, a free small farm/zoo area, open fields for running and is the home of a beautiful Vietnam War Veterans Memorial.

  We took lots of pictures and the kids just thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  In the memorial section of the park there are large boulders that have letters that soldiers wrote home to their families engraved onto them.  With 3 very active boys I didn’t really have the time to stand and read the letters while we were there.  I took some pictures thinking I could go back and read them later.  Well last night I heard the news about the combat soldiers leaving Irag.  Regardless of which direction you lean towards (left or right)  I think everyone can agree that we fully support the actual troops, the sons, daughters,husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews and moms and dads that are over there risking their lives.  We can rejoice that these people are coming home with their lives.  This all lead me to go back and look at the pictures and read the letters that were engraved on the boulders.  This soldier did not make it home with his life.  This soldier was someone’s husband.  This soldier made me hug my husband tighter this morning  not get upset at my husband’s clothes on the bathroom floor.  This soldier was someone’s son.  This soldier made me hug my sons tighter this morning and not get so upset over the dirty playroom that I’ve been trying to get them to clean all summer.  Here is this soldier’s letter.

Dear Ma,

  I am writing to you on radio watch early in the morning.  I feel fine & healthy.  The chow is c-rations.  I have a beard-4 days old- and pet bird in the pagoda where we live.

  The platoon is fine- magnificent!  Hard workers, no mail or packages or enough water- but no complaints- at least we’ll get a generation of tougher men out of this war from my platoon.

  I was wounded in the arm on Thanksgiving but I’m fine now.  Help my dear wife and look after that silly Beauregard.  I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy, Happy New Year.

  Take care of yourself Momma. and try not to work so hard.

  I’m doing what I want to do and I’ve found we really need so little to survive with dignity in this world.  Dependence on material things is unnecessary.   For they pass away too easily due to floods, grenades, rust and wear & tear. 

  Strange- being without anything, as we are here, produces an inner calm.




Brian Richard O’Connor





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