Today I am remembering Lee. Lee’s family attended our church. His father was our elementary school principal. His mother was our Sunday school teacher. My younger brothers, after their half day of kindergarten, would walk to her house and stay until time to go back and catch the school bus home. Lee was the youngest of their three sons.
Lee was somewhat older than I was – I don’t remember the age difference. He, his good friend Tom, and I were all in church youth group together and spent a fair amount of time at meetings and after church talking, joking, teasing and tormenting each other. I also don’t remember the details of Lee’s departure. He may have gotten drafted because it was the beginning of the Vietnam war era. He may have decided to join of his own free will. At any rate, he was gone to boot camp and soon off to combat.
It was surreal to hear that he had died. He had been just fine so how could he so quickly be gone? At that age I had not been around death that much and didn’t know what to think. There weren’t grief counselors. I wasn’t in on any adult conversations that might have taken place around that time. It was a short obit in the paper that broke the news. It hurt Lee’s family deeply – I can only imagine – and more trouble came their way. They finally moved from our town and I’ve lost track of them completely.
That’s some of why I want to remember Lee now, because I wasn’t a part of remembering him back then. He so quickly went from shy, silly teenager, to soldier, to deceased and it didn’t seem right that there was nothing I could do about it. It happened so far away, before we even knew. I do remember him and I wish I could tell his parents and brothers that.
I’ve known other friends and relatives who have served in the military since then. I want to thank them this Memorial day and honor their commitment to serve. Not all of them paid with their life, but they all paid a price. Thank you all, and thank you Lee.
6 thoughts on “I Remember You”
Wow Shirb….. Wow. Amen. That is beautiful and I believe right on. Otherwise, I’m speechless about it. Here at the lake. Beautiful weather. Been boating, swimming. Lots of reading and being still, which looks like doing nothing but is essential. Altho teens don’t know that yet. A friend of Den has taken he and Claire out fishing and they must be catching them; been gone for 3.5 hours. Love and prayers to you and yours. MP
What a nice way to honor a fallen Vietnam solider. That was such an unpopular war. The left were mean and ugly to our brave men who served this country so faithfully. If they wanted to be angry with any one it should have been the politicians. It was their idea to enter a war that wasn’t meant to be won costing many, many Americans lives. Three of my uncles served and all three returned safely. I’m visiting you from the AtoZRoadTrip list. It was nice to meet you. Feel free to stop by for today’s read: Meet my new neighbor!
This is a lovely tribute, Shirley, and Memorial Day is the perfect day to honor him. Lovely post.
Thank you Elisa. It certainly makes the day more than picnic and pool party time for me, as it should be.
Incredible piece. Loved this.
Thanks. You probably have someone to remember too I’m guessing.