1968 — Vineland, New Jersey
Rider On The School Bus
He was just a kid who rode on my school bus
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Leo Green was just a kid who rode on my school bus back in 1968. He didn't stand out or cause any trouble. To me, in 1968, he was just another kid who rode on my school bus. Our homes were only a block away, but I never came to know him. He was three years older than I and we didn't hang with the same crowd. What I didn't, couldn't know then, was that a year later, he would die in the jungles of Viet Nam. He was the first and only person that I ever knew that lost his life in that conflict, so many years ago. His death put a face to the war for me. This was someone I really didn't know, yet because I had seen him twice a day for a full year, his death was both compelling and sad for me. This was a neighbor, someone's son a brother. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. and made a point to stop for the first time and visit "The Wall." I wanted to find the name of the boy who rode on the bus, but as I saw the Wall for the first time from a distance, my mind drew a blank. I couldn't remember his name. Then I found the book listing each name and location on the Wall. Suddenly, when I opened the book, his name came back to my memory once again. He served only a few months before he was killed in action August, 1969. I found his name on the Wall. How sad to lose your life at 20. The boy who rode the bus, Leo Green
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