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Author Topic: Veterans Fishing Day  (Read 5381 times)

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Yooperdad

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Re: Veterans Fishing Day
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2014, 10:19:34 AM »

You can add the searcher, it is my honor to participate in the Veterans appreciation Day event

Thanks Burt.  Just added Searcher to the list  :usa:
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Mike Paluda
Marquette
aka "Yooperdad"
www.eyeflies.com

Bruno

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Re: Veterans Fishing Day
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2014, 10:56:16 AM »

I'm in too Mike. I can take 2.
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Erik Johnson
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Re: Veterans Fishing Day
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2014, 01:10:23 PM »

I'm in.  I can take 2. 
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Ross Anthony
2052 WA Trophy Pro
Lotta' 'Splainin
Marquette Lower Harbor

Yooperdad

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Re: Veterans Fishing Day
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2014, 02:07:17 PM »

I'm in.  I can take 2. 
Thanks Ross.  I'll get it added shortly  :usa:
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Mike Paluda
Marquette
aka "Yooperdad"
www.eyeflies.com

Yooperdad

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Re: Veterans Fishing Day
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2014, 02:08:08 PM »

I'm in too Mike. I can take 2.
Thanks Erik.  I'll get the list updated shortly  :usa:
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Mike Paluda
Marquette
aka "Yooperdad"
www.eyeflies.com

GOV III

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Re: Veterans Fishing Day
« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2014, 05:06:12 PM »

Hey Mike,

U can include my boat (22') for 2 veterans and Casey Tallio's (24') for 2 veterans...

Casey Tallio   "Kalavene"  24 ft   (2) veterans     

 :thmb: :usa: :beer:
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FREDDY GOVERN
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MARQUETTE, MI

Yooperdad

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Re: Veterans Fishing Day
« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2014, 09:05:20 PM »

Thanks Freddy.  You and Casey have been added, bring us to the capability of 46 vets fishing, well on our way to the goal of 60  :usa:

Mike
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Mike Paluda
Marquette
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www.eyeflies.com

Yooperdad

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I Was There Last Night
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2014, 10:55:15 PM »

I sent the email that follows to the members of the Veterans Appreciation Fishing committee as it fit with a discussion about veterans that occurred at last night's meeting.  Today, I received the following from a fellow committee member:

Mike – I’m not old enough to say that I experienced anything to do with the Vietnam War, but I can surely learn something about it from stories like the one you just shared with us.  To say that it’s emotion and thought provoking is an understatement.  I suggest you re-post this on UP Angler under the Veterans Fishing Day post, in the very same manner that you have just shared with us; some of you that experienced the war could write this very same letter, while some of us have just learned something new that should be shared and learned by others.

So here it is:
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear SSFA Vets Committee Members,
 
Jessica mentioned at last night’s meeting that many of the vets we may encounter for our event may not show outside evidence of their service connected disability.  And she was very correct. Coincidentally, I received this email, just this morning, from a vet friend in Virginia and I forwarded it to a group of veteran friends.  Thought I would share it with you all as well.  It is very thought provoking.
 
Mike
 
From: Mike [mailto:mpaluda@chartermi.net]
Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2014 11:41 AM
Subject: I Was Just There Last Night From Albert
 
I can relate, and I know you can as well.  FRB is the author of the first email and I know him.  Thanks Frank.
 
Mike
________________________________________
________________________________________
This hits home with me, when I was interviewed by the VA doctor (shrink) he asked me when I was in Vietnam, I gave him the same exact reply, I was there last night.
 
The part about not wanting to get close to my troops also hits home as it was the exact reason as a Company Commander I tried not to, because if I did, the loss of any one of them would make me question my actions as their CO.  And how I could have accomplished my mission and brought them all back, and what I did wrong to get them killed and, but it did not work. It did not take me very long to get attached to each of the young men in my command and form a strong bond with each of them.
 
This reflects a piece I wrote in response to a request from the Library of Congress, Vietnam vet history, they were doing and was also published in the Mobile Riverine Newsletter.
 
FRB
________________________________________
Subject: I Was Just There Last Night From Albert
 
I Was Just There Last Night 
Sent by Member Bill Sayers 9th ID 3rd/60th
   
This story came to me via e-mail, the author, a fellow Vietnam Veteran. After reading his story, I felt compelled to share this with you. If you didn't participate in the Vietnam War, this will give you some insight into how our minds work. He writes: A couple of years ago someone asked me if I still thought about Vietnam. I nearly laughed in their face. How do you stop thinking about it? Every day for the past forty years, I wake up with it- I go to bed with it. This was my response: 

"Yeah, I think about it. I can't stop thinking about it. I never will. But, I've also learned to live with it. I'm comfortable with the memories. I've learned to stop trying to forget and learned to embrace it. It just doesn't scare me anymore." 

A lot of my "brothers" haven't been so lucky. For them the memories are too painful, their sense of loss too great. My sister told me of a friend she has whose husband was in the Nam. She asks this guy when he was there. Here's what he said, "Just last night." It took my sister a while to figure out what he was talking about. Just Last Night. Yeah, I was in the Nam. When? Just last night, before I went to sleep, on my way to work this morning, and over my lunch hour. Yeah, I was there 

My sister says I'm not the same brother who went to Vietnam. My wife says I won't let people get close to me, not even her.They are probably both right. Ask a vet about making friends in Nam. It was risky. Why? Because we were in the business of death, and death was with us all the time. It wasn't the death of, "If I die before I wake." This was the real thing. The kind boys scream for their mothers. The kind that lingers in your mind and becomes more real each time you cheat it. You don't want to make a lot of friends when the possibility of dying is that real, that close. When you do, friends become a liability. 

A guy named Bob Flanigan was my friend. Bob Flanigan is dead. I put him in a body bag one sunny day, April 29, 1969. We'd been talking, only a few minutes before he was shot, about what we were going to do when we got back to the world. Now, this was a guy who had come in country the same time as me. A guy who was loveable and generous. He had blue eyes and sandy blond hair.  When he talked, it was with a soft drawl. I loved this guy like the brother I never had. But, I screwed up. I got too close to him. I broke one of the unwritten rules of war. DON"T GET CLOSE TO PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO DIE. You hear vets use the term "buddy" when they refer to a guy they spent the war with. "Me and this buddy of  mine." 

Friend sounds too intimate, doesn't it? "Friend" calls up images of being close. If he's a friend, then you are going to be hurt if he dies, and war hurts enough without adding to the pain. Get close; get hurt. It's as simple as that. In war you learn to keep people at that distance my wife talks about. You become good at it, that forty years after the war, you still do it without thinking. You won't allow yourself to be vulnerable again.

My wife knows two people who can get into the soft spots inside me-my daughters. I know it bothers her that they can do this. It's not that I don't love my wife. I do. She's put up with a lot from me. She'll tell you that when she signed for better or worse, she had no idea there was going to be so much of the latter. But with my daughters it's different. My girls are mine. They'll always be my kids. Not marriage, not distance, not even death can change that. They are something on this earth that can never be taken away from me. I belong to them. Nothing can change that. I can have an ex-wife; but my girls can never have an ex-father. There's the differance. I can still see the faces, though they all seem to have the same eyes. When I think of us, I always see a line of "dirty grunts"sitting on a paddy dike. We're caught in the first gray silver between darkness and light. That first moment when we know we've survived another night, and the business of staying alive for one more day is about to begin. There was so much hope in that brief space of time. It's what we used to pray for. "One more day, God. One more day."
 
And I can hear our conversations as if they'd only just been spoken I still hear the way we sounded. The hard cynical jokes, our morbid senses of humor. We were scared to death of dying, and tried our best not to show it.  I recall the smells, too. Like the way cordite hangs on the air after a fire-fight. Or the pungent odor of rice paddy mud. So different from the black dirt of Iowa. The mud of Nam smells ancient, somehow. Like it's always been there. And I'll never forget the way blood smells, sticky and drying on my hands. I spent a long night that way once. The memory isn't going anywhere.
 
I remember how the night jungle appears almost dreamlike as pilot of a Cessna buzzed overhead, dropping parachute flares until morning. That artificial sun would flicker and make shadows run through the jungle. It was worse than not being able to see what was out there sometimes. I remember once looking at the man next to me as a flare floated overhead. The shadows around his eyes were so deep that it looked like his eyes were gone. I reached over and touched him on the arm; without looking at me he touched my hand. "I know man. I know." That's what he said. It was a human moment. Two guys a long way from home and scared to death.
 
God, I loved those guys. I hurt every time one of them died. We all did. Despite our posturing. Despite our desire to stay disconnected, we couldn't help ourselves. I know why Tim O' Brien writes his stories. I know what gives Bruce Weigle the words to create poems so honest I cry at their horrible beauty. It's love. Love for those guys we shared the experience with.
 
We did our jobs like good soldiers, and we tried our best not to become as hard as our surroundings.You want to know what is frightening. It's a nineteen-year-old-boy who's had a sip of that power over life and death that war gives you. It's a boy who, despite all the things he's been taught,knows that he likes it. It's a nineteen-year-old who's just lost a friend, and is angry and scared and, determined that, "some*@#*s gonna pay". To this day, the thought of that boy can wake me from a sound sleep and leave me staring at the ceiling.
 
As I write this, I have a picture in front of me. It's of two young men. On their laps are tablets. One is smoking a cigarette. Both stare without expression at the camera. They're writing letters. Staying in touch with places they rather be. Places and people they hope to see again. The picture shares space in a frame with one of my wife.. She doesn't mind. She knows she's been included in special company. She knows I'll always love those guys who shared that part of my life, a part she never can. And she understands how I feel about the ones I know are out there yet. The ones who still answer the question, "When were you in Vietnam?"
 
"Hey, man. I was there just last night."
 
So was I.  How about the rest of you vets-hits home doesn't it!

Share this article with others so they understand why many of today's veteran's behave the way they do, be it Vietnam or other conflicts, this is a common thread shared by all.

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Mike Paluda
Marquette
aka "Yooperdad"
www.eyeflies.com
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