Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It Was 1966

In late October 1967, I flew for the first time. I flew from Dayton to Hawaii to meet up with my fiance who was on R & R. Panicked I sat in the back row of the plane. An elderly woman (Ha! She was probably my age now!) from Canada was in the seat next to me. She asked if it was my first time flying. I guess it was obvious. She reached over and held my hand and helped me through that first flight.

On each leg of the flight, other angels watched over me taking me to my gates, talking me through the long flights over the ocean. I was only eighteen and leaving home for the first time on my own.

I stood with other young women in a receiving room waiting for the young soldiers from Viet Nam to arrive. Girls primped and giggled full of anticipation. A door opened and miles were erased.

Hawaii was beautiful. The beaches weren't cluttered as they are now.We were in Hawaii during Aloha week. We stood on a above the parade that passed below. Exotic flowers and beautiful people waved and smiled. We were far away from Neff Road, away from bullets and bunkers.

It was another time. A time when a farm boy's first adventure put a gun in his hands and sent him to war. A time when couples were torn apart and parents wept. It was a time when two kids from Darke County spent a few days putting war behind them.

It was 1966.

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