At eighteen each joined the U.S. Marin Corps. At nineteen both found themselves in Vietnam. The two became close friends; They went out on patrol together, faced danger together and got into all kinds of comical scrapes, most of their own making. They went down tunnels, went on search-and-destroy missions, shared the condition called "jungle rot" that sent one to the hospital.
In early February 1971 one of them got orders that he was to pack his things, turn in his weapons and get on the bus. His deployment was over and it was time to go home. He had only minutes to get ready, and there was no time to say goodbye to his friend. As he rode away on the bus, he realized he didn't even know his buddy's name--they used nicknames for everyone, and all he knew his friend as was "Indian."
Fast forward 44 years to this thing we call the Internet, and to the thing on the Internet called Facebook. One day I received a friend request from a man I did not know, and I was going to delete the request when I saw a message from this same man. The message said, "I think your husband served with my father in Vietnam. Ask him if he remembers a man they called Indian."
We had an amazing time; lots of conversation, catching up on families and laughing as they told of some of their misadventures in Vietnam. Reyn brought Larry a warrior's medal, made by a member of his tribe from shells and beads in the colors of the Vietnam medal.
|Reyn signing the visitor's book in the Governor's office|
at the WV State Capitol
Larry and Reyn toured the West Virginia Capitol building and state museum, and traveled down to Olcott to see the place where Larry grew up.
|In the Capitol Rotunda|
|Through the gates to the airplane. Goodbye, Reyn!|
Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.