Saturday, May 23, 2009

a glimpse...

(gary berrong at the vmw)

i don't know what brought up the subject that night in early april, eight years ago; but, gary, my brother-in-law, started telling me a story about the most frightened he'd ever been in his life. as he told the story, i hung onto his every word. for, it was hard to believe that as a u.s. marine gary was EVER frightened; further, gary NEVER spoke of his time in vietnam.


"my marine buddy and i were right in the middle of an open field... on duty keeping watch that night. it was pitch black... not a star in the sky. we were sitting back-to-back taking turns sleeping. knowing that noise of any kind could mean our demise, we nudged one another with our elbows (one quick nudge) to trade off sleep time."

"it was our code... i nudged once to let him know that i was getting sleepy, and he nudged me back to let me know he was awake."

he continued...

"anyway, wilson was asleep when i heard what i thought was someone heading in our direction. i gave him a quick, double-elbow punch. that was our signal to one another that the enemy was approaching. we had the process of going from sitting to standing positions down to a fine art."

"in a matter of a noiseless second, the two of us were standing erect... back-to-back!!! i don't think either of us were breathing, and it was a good thing too because the enemy passed in front of me so closely i could feel the air move between us."


gary had a way of telling stories. i felt like i was right there in the war zone with him and wilson. the story gave me goosebumps!!!


that was all he told me that night. i have often wondered, if given the time, if he would have told me more???

my brother-in-law died two days later from cancer. i have also often wondered if his cancer stemmed from "agent orange" to which he may have been exposed while serving his country???

love and God's blessings,
dani xx


Sally said...

It sounds like your b-i-l needed a kindly ear and found it in you, Dani. (hugs)

Anonymous said...

The picture of your BIL is a study in thought. Oh what thoughts that must have brought back to him. Today we honor them all and the pain and sorrow in their hearts.

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

This is great--a good reminder to just how expensive FREEdom really is!

Lucy said...

The returned soldiers never want to talk about the action they saw in Vietnam especially. It must have been horendous and I suppose we will never grap the full horror that our men faced. Agent orange is still plagueing the men even after all these years. Jimmy tells me that they were told over loud speakers that it was harmless and it would only kill the vegitation. Is that why he had nasty rashes over his body for many years after his return? God bless all our returned military men and women.
Love and blessings XXXXOOOO

linda said...

God bless your BIL! What horror those young boys had to endure in Vietnam and are still going thru in other parts of the world today. I have the utmost regard for the men and women who bravely serve our country. Thank you Gary! May you rest in peace!

Amanda said...

May we never forget our brave service men and women.
God Bless your Gary ~ may he rest in Peace.

Amanda x

E and T said...

Hi Dani

That snippet of information from your BIL, Gary, touches on the way in which those courageous men had to serve. No wonder there is such a thing as post traumatic stress syndrome. The horror, terror, the unfathomable things that these men witnessed is more often than not, their own private pain and torture as they are reluctant to share their story.

What an honour that Gary chose you.

Lots of love and hugs

Jan the crazy lady said...

No one can ever imagine unless they were there. I heart this post and I am in honor of those that serve.

Tabitha said...

What a wonderful insight into the life of a soldier during that most awful of wars, I so wish that you had learnt the rest of the story. What a brave man he was indeed!
Love and big hugs to you my friend XXXXXXX

Anonymous said...

And since you now know, you may share his story. I'm glad he told you before he died. What a treasure he is to your family and to our country.
Thank you.

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