Saints and Heroes
Folding the US Flag

Comments From A Hero
Duey Q


     It was back in 1967, I was a junior at the University of Colorado and worried about what was going to happen after graduation. Anti-war demonstrations were a daily event. After all, it wasn't "our" war. Why should we go to some far off land and possibly die for something we knew very little about? My older brother was already there. The Army in all its wisdom, took this brilliant young man with all his education and experience in the financial community, and decided to make him a cook. I was sure I would be in store for some similar fate. Well, my time did come. Not wanting to leave my fate entirely in the hands of the military, I enlisted. I had to give another year, but at least I could request some training that would possibly keep me out of harm's way. My main job would not be pounding through the jungle, carrying a rifle. I made it through my tour of duty, with the grace of God, uninjured. I came home in 1970, in the middle of all the jeers and protest demonstrations.. It was tough. We weren't heroes, we didn't "win" anything.


     Twenty-seven years later, I started to have health problems. Poor circulation in my legs, eyesight fading, finally a heart attack. I was treated by VA, but no on-going therapy, because my problems were not "service related". I was ultimately diagnosed with "type II diabetes". The circulation in my legs got worse. I went through thirteen surgical procedures,  trying to improve, but to no avail. I developed blood poisoning and had to have my left leg amputated below the knee.. about a year and half later, the same thing happened to my right leg. In 2001, the Army finally stated that "type II" diabetes was linked to Agent-orange, the defoliator we sprayed on the jungles in Vietnam. At least now I could get disability through the VA. It's ironic, after thirty years, I can be considered a casualty of war.


     I lost a great deal, in the past few years, because of something that happened so very long ago. I lost a thriving business, my home, the woman I loved, and most of all, three adorable little boys who called me "Papa". But, I try not to be bitter about my situation and look for the beauty and goodness that God has bestowed upon us. I still get chills whenever I hear the Star Spangled Banner, or God Bless America. I was thrilled when my daughter graduated from the Air Force Academy with high honors. The ceremony included air shows, parades and a demonstration by the "Thunderbirds". Now I hear that the Senate wants to ban the pledge of allegiance in our schools, because it has a phrase "under God". Whether it is stomping through some jungle, or sifting through the rubble of the WTC, the words "Under God" could not have a more  meaningful  place than in our "pledge of allegiance".   Neither God nor our Country has ever abandoned me and I will not abandon them. 

Duey Q

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