Hi. I’m RW Balzer. I’m a photographer, a writer and a Viet Nam Vet.
Many of you all ready know that…but there is something not many people know. I returned from Viet Nam in April 1971…but I did not “come home” until May 28, 1984, when the Viet Nam Unknown Soldier was buried at Arlington…a little over 13 years later. What’s the difference? One you are physically here, the other you begin to accept where you have been and the fact that the present is not a dream that you are going to wake up from. You can almost completely leave the past behind and move on. You begin to understand the why and why nots.
So many soldiers that have returned from war still haven’t “come home.” They still find it difficult to accept what they had to endure and accept what they had to do for their country. If anybody can hate war, it’s a soldier.
Now, with the combat troops being pulled out of Iraq…although every soldier in harm’s way is a combat troop…we have a complete new crop of soldiers struggling to “come home.” They join the ranks of WWII vets, Korean War vets, Viet Nam war vets, and Desert Storm vets still struggling to “come home”
Veterans Day is this month. The day we recognize, honor and thank those who are still living that have endured and served this great country in both time of war and in time of blessed peace.
This is truly great…but there is so much more we can do to help them “come home.”
Viet Nam vets greet each other with a handshake, a look in the eyes and a heartfelt “Welcome Home.” So this Veterans Day I’m asking a favor of each and every one of you…when you meet a vet…regardless of what war or what peace they served in…help them “come home.” Let them know how much their service and sacrifice has meant, still means to you and a grateful nation Help them to “come home,” reach out, shake their hand, look honestly into their eyes and give them a heartfelt “Welcome Home, thank you for your service.”
Below are photos of metal sculptures in the “Living Memorial Garden” in Weed CA: Dennis Smith; Artist LMSG