Still On Duty

 

Starting Somewhere - Again

A couple of years ago I thought that I would look back at my Vietnam experience and just see what I would find.  Google can help you find many things and so it was that I came to find the 5th Maintenance Battalion (DS) web site.  Then I found a link on the home page that grabbed my interest. So it was that on Christmas Day, 2009 -- I stumbled into the 5th Maint Yahoo! Group email discussion list and began having a conversation with those who were there.

Somewhere in one of the conversations one of them wrote, "Welcome Home!"  In my forty years since Nam no one had ever said that to me and I had never understood the significance of it so I had never said it to anyone else. Now I know the significance of that phrase. One part of it is something you feel, a sense of belonging, to something that is bigger than you are.  Call it a "brotherhood." Call it what you wish. All I know is that I can look back at my service in Nam now with real pride and I don't feel alone in doing that anymore.  I had known that we had really accomplished something over there but it just didn't seem like anybody cared. Now we are being respected for what we did.  The disrespect that we went through is finally being wiped away in a real way by a change in how America looks at the veterans who have served their country.

As the title of the film with which many are now familiar proclaims, "We Were Soldiers Once...And Young."  But guess what?  We are soldiers still and many of us, as we are able, would go again if we were called upon.  We are the living.  We are the Witness for those who have served and gone on before us.  For us, in our own way, we are still on duty.  They, those who gave it all and went on ahead of us, would want us to continue on.  So we shall.  So we will.

So it is with that thought in mind that this web site is being developed.  One of the overall goals here has been to put something together that can eventually be put on CD and given not only to my personal family as a legacy, but that can also be given to those that served over there, a gift that in it's own way reaches out to them and proclaims, "Welcome Home?"

Allan Leigh Winger
Staff Sergeant
United States Army Retired
560th LEM Co, 5th Maint Bn (DS)
An Khe, Vietnam, Feb 69 - Sep 70

June, 2011

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