True American Heros Blog by DaYuM PhYnE ByTcH
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  As Veteran's Day is upon us once more, a day set aside to celebrate the men and women of the Armed Forces. I would like to tell you about a wonderful Veteran I know and Love. My Step-Dad Mike who was always more like a father to me then my own dad. 

 I met Mike when I was 9 years old for all intents and purposes I hated Mike. He was set to ruin my life I thought. He was after all, after my Mother!!! Through time and understanding on his part he became a very important part of my life. Mike served from 18 -25 in Vietnam. In that time he was also a POW. I remember having to wake him up with broomsticks because the nightmares were so severe for him. He used to drink to much he was never mean to us but he would cry and be devastated about the things he saw and did in Vietnam. It was kill or be killed. They were a bunch of young men sent out into a jungle they were completely unfamiliar with, no amount of training could prepare you for fighting an unseen enemy. Mike was captured in 1968 and was brutalized for 35 days before he escaped. To this day I'm not quite sure what they did to him, not everything, and I'm not sure I can handle it if i did know. When Mike came home, he came home to being cursed for what he did. He was called a baby killer his job was given to somebody else people left messages on his car and house calling him a baby killer and rapist. The president at the time had no respect for his own ARMY?!?!?! For his own men and women of the Armed Forces!!!  In the years that followed my dad enacted the VAC in this area which is the Veterans Assistance Commission. This was a organization meant to help veterans. It was nothing to walk around and see a Vietnam Veteran riddled with psychiatric conditions caused by their time spent in hell to be homeless or uncared for by a country that forgot them!!! My Dad wanted to end that and give them the respect and honor they deserved. He has devoted his life after Vietnam to helping vets in our area and some not in our area. Every year there were at least 5 people at our table at Thanksgiving and Christmas I had no idea who they were . At the time, I was young and stupid and had no idea of the hell those men had been through, I remember resenting those men and wondering why my house had to be a "SAVE THE PLANET" kinda home! As the years went by I learned and recognized what true hero's those men were and I feel ASHAMED that I did not recognize it at the time. 

 My dad was exposed to agent orange during his time spent in Vietnam. His first heart attack happened at age 40 it was a small one just a pre cursor to the events of his health dwindling. He had a 6 way bipass in 1996 The week my daughter was born. Lots of his friends joke and say "I wish I had Mike's doctors!" because he has been dead more then 4 times and he just keeps coming back for more! The last time was 14 months ago the doctor said this is it this is the end.... I went to be with him and he said words that broke my heart .. he said "I'm not sure I will go to Heaven for all the things I did in Vietnam..." I held his hand and said "You have a special place reserved for you for all you have done for other people , you served your time in hell!" He actually made it out of that alive! Which I am forever grateful for...

  This is what I learned from Mike ... I learned that you respect, appreciate and never turn your heart away from a soldier. I learned that even when the war is over EVERY soldier is still fighting a battle in their heart! I learned to respect every single person that upholds my personal freedoms. I learned that for everything I enjoy in this life someone fought to make it available to me. I learned that if you are unable to serve you can serve your country in a 100 different ways everyday. I learned that if you do not agree with a war YOU SUPPORT YOUR SOLDIERS ANYWAY!!! Most importantly I learned that you should honor your Veteran's EVERYDAY!!!!  A Thank You is not nearly enough, But I thank every single member of the Armed Forces... May God Bless you and keep you safe and know that you receive a prayer from this person everyday......

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