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“I was a twenty-year-old Navy journalist in the summer of 1967 aboard the aging World War Two aircraft carrier USS HORNET. We were steaming in the gentle blue waters of Yankee Station in the Gulf of Tonkin some forty miles or so from the coast of North Vietnam.
It was noon, and after chow on sunny days (when there was no flight activity on the flight deck) some of the Public Affairs Office crew would gather topside to catch some rays.
We’d strip off our dungaree shirts and use them for pillows and we would absorb the tropical sun, or sit and chat or write letters home or listen to Chris Noel on Armed Forces Radio or Hanoi Hanna on the shortwave radio. … “
A twenty year old journalist! What could a 20 year old know about much of anything, let alone journalism? Read his story and I think you might see the talent this young man had back then, and still retains.
Today is the first ever Vietnam Veterans Day. I didn’t know that yesterday, did you?
I read Michael Wheat’s heart breaking story just a bit ago, and then read it again out loud to my wife. It wasn’t long before, like Michael, I was weeping. This is what I wrote back to Michael:
“I too weep at this remembrance. There was a time, also on Yankee Station, when a fallen Navy flyer lay on the main deck of our tin can. I weep over him as well.
Thanks for this remembrance.”
Michael wasn’t in the heat of battle, yet these many years later he remembers … and weeps.
I wasn’t in the heat of battle, yet these many years later I remember … and weep.
Don Johnson – March 2017