Sunday, July 16, 2006

Going Home

32 years! What a long, strange trip from naïve 19 year-old to, well, I suppose a still naïve 50 year-old. And what did I learn in all that time? I learned that:
• In many cases what appears to be, probably is not.
• What most believe about something they have not experienced, will be mostly wrong.
• Initial impressions are just that and bear little relationship to what will be in the long run.
• That looking for something long lost is not the same as finding it.
• That living in regret of the past gets in the way of moving into the future.

I would not trade either of my times in Vietnam even though the cost of the first visit was so great both during and after the war. Looking back I see how much the war year made me who I am, both the good and the bad. To say now I wish that had not happened is to say I wish I had become something other than what I am and while there is always room for improvement I cannot do that.

I have “closure” not with the war but of greater importance the country and with one exception, the people; both of which mean more to me than I can ever explain to others. The one thing I was not able to do was to learn the fate of Dolly and in that regard, as the U2 song says, I still haven't found what I was looking for.