June 19, 1967 — St. Joseph, Missouri
I was there with you in a small bar in Kansas, as with all your friends to offer our support and cheer you up. You were due to ship out to Nam the next morning. I will never forget that you were the only one not smiling. No matter what we did or said, you kept saying that you knew that you were not coming home.
I can still see you there sitting at the end of the bar with a glass of beer, surrounded by people laughing, yet all alone. To this day I remember what you look like...tall and fair with black curly hair. You kept repeating "I won't be coming home and I know I'm going to die". You came home in a refrigerated and closed coffin draped in the U.S. flag.
It had a profound effect on me that has lasted all these years and will remain until the day I die. Knowing that you were going to your death and yet bravely you went into a war that you said that you did not agree with. Neither did any of us, but you died for your country and I salute your bravery and sacrifice.
I was the young girl in the bar who was your neighbour and went to your funeral. Someone you hardly knew and yet you will always be with me. Your family lost so much and I couldn't find the words at that time to express how I felt. If anyone reads this, I just want to say that I still feel that pain and admiration for a young boy that I wish I could have known better.
In Loving Memory,