Memorial Day: A Letter from a Soldier

31 Jan 68 Tuy Hoa, Vietnam

My grandmother saved my father’s letters home in a scrapbook. This is one of them.

Dear Mom,

My father and his best friend traveled to Vietnam from San Francisco. When they landed in November, they went in different directions

You can stop worrying about me. The truce violations here put down in a day and all is quiet.

Lt. Brooks was posthumously awarded the Silver Star. He had been in Vietnam less than two months.

Brooks got killed on 28 Dec and was buried on 4 Jan. His wife just wrote to tell me. She is having a baby in May. Shame about this whole war. That sight at the west end of town is really sickening.

My father came home, changed his clothes, put on a suit and went to work. He volunteered at vet events for the rest of his life.

The stoical VN go on celebrating as usual. 2 villages 2 miles west of here razed by the air strikes and artillery so they aren’t so happy. The MAC V compound was untouched so that makes me happy.

He took me to visit Rick Brook’s name at the wall and now my sisters and I take our children.

I hate this place and wish it would go away.

30 years later he asked me to take this picture of him at the FDR Memorial in DC.

Don’t feel too much like writing just wanted to let you know I was OK.



Etiquette for Displaying the American Flag

Note: Army Sgt. Steve Flaherty, of Columbia, S.C., killed in Vietnam on March 25, 1969. His letters return from Vietnam made headlines. I linked to the Stars and Stripes article here. Excerpts from the letters are here. A pdf describing Gold Star Mother and Vets return to Vietnam here. You can remember Sgt. Flaherty by visiting his name on the Vietnam wall at  Panel 28W Line 035.


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