In any war there are more Heros than many of us know about since  we have not walked in the  boots of our men and women who have  served.. some who haunt until some have drawn their last breathe. Hero  is such a story  shared with me that  left me feeling the pain, anger and suffering that many of my men carry long after they return home and I could only weep  with  him.


Hello my Montagnard friend. I was watching a movie last evening that bought you to me.

The moderator near the end of the movie was talking about heroes. He said generals, politicians, and regular people need heroes but not soldiers like you and I. He said soldiers do not fight for medals or to be heroes, but instead for their buddies, for those on their right and left.

You were a true hero; you gave your life to save a friend. I’m so sorry that friend had to be me. I would give anything that I had died for you rather than you for me. If only I could turn back the clock.

I wept for you last evening; deep feelings flooded me as I remembered those minutes from years ago. I remember our laughing, our horsing around like we were young kids, our friendship. You were a true friend and I miss very much. I remembered holding and playing with your children and I remember holding your body.

I have asked your forgiveness so many times, I don’t know your response, but knowing you, you laughed and said that it was ok. I carry such guilt my friend and I cannot put it down. Is that my penance for what happened? If so, it is not penance enough, nothing can be.

Forgive me my hero, my true friend.

© Charles Schwiderski

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Comment by Loretta Riddell (Elohi) on April 24, 2016 at 7:24am

I have heard many of the stories from our serving and our newest struggling Veterans of todays wars and I agree with you our own son struggles still and many times wonders if he will ever find a sembelance of any kind of normal life and to make it worse he was at the recruiters station that was shot up back east.. Leaving him and others feeling their enemies were just waiting for them and i won't open a can of peas by saying what they all feel about being home today except they no longer feel they must leave country to protect country

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