Monday, April 23, 2007

Extremely Sad News

My good friend Roy over at Musings and somesuch... that is all... had some really sad news this week. His cousin Lance Corporal Jesse De La Torre was killed in Iraq last Monday. Our hearts and prayers go out to him and his family.

Just like it was yesterday (although it's been some 36 years ago), I remember when one of my sisters and I drove out to Love Field (here in Dallas) to pick up my brother when he came back from Vietnam. It was late at night - we drove up to the terminal in my sister's 1970 VW Bug, and there was my brother sitting on the curb in his Army uniform with his duffel bag. As young as I was, I was very glad to see him. My brother does not speak much of his experience in Vietnam. His primary job there was driving a jeep, delivering messages. He did tell me once that the last week he spent in Vietnam was his worst. His base was under constant attack the last week he was in that country, and he didn't think he was going to make it home.

My father served in WWII - stationed in England at an air base. My father passed away in 1967. Thirty years after he died, my family received a letter from a woman in Australia who turned out to be my 1/2 sister. Apparently, my father met a woman in England when he was there, and she had a child shortly after he left. Years later, the UK opened up the adoption records, and my sister found her birth mother in England who then led her to us in Texas.

My sister flew to the United States about a year later, and we all met in Georgia. It was a special experience that I will treasure forever. She grew up in England and enjoyed a wonderful childhood. She and her husband moved to Australia, where they both became physiologists. Sadly, my 1/2 sister died in 2000, but I continue to correspond with my niece and nephew in Australia.

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