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I really felt old when I was waiting in line at the checkout stand to buy my groceries.I glanced to my right and saw two movies  for sale.For only$19.95you could buy a complete
history Of World War Two and the Vietnam war.I understood the World War Two movie,
but Vietnam?I asked the checker if many purchased the Vietnam story,"Oh,yes she replied, It"s history,were you there?"
I had never seen the real beauty of the color green until I went to Vietnam. Flying for the first time on a helicopter,the ground below me was a lush emerald green.The shirtless man on my right had enough bullets around his neck to kill hundreds of people.
When you go to a war at age 19,you grow up quickly. Your scared out of your mind,but you act like a tough guy, When you hear the words "incoming" for the first time,you know
a stranger wants you dead.
I was in a medical unit, and  I had dental training as well. Our unit would treat local villagers and it"s because of that fact that I met a lady named "Lan". She was fairly tall and had
 the most beautiful long black hair I had ever seen.Men my age felt lust,I felt love.I had no idea how she could stay so clean in a dirty country.I always thought
she worked for our military,truth is ,she worked for the South Vietnamese Government.
I saw her frequently when we were around Saigon ,and I learned some Vietnamese from her.
One calm night turned into hell. Shells were coming from somewhere and hit the village
we were working in.Lan grabs me, and we run to a hut that took almost a direct hit.
I saw pieces of a man and a woman and a little girl still alive.I had a medical bag but
anyone could see she had lost too much blood for anyone to save her.
I quickly asked Lan to ask the little girl her favorite color. Puzzled,Lan gave me her answer. I whispered to the little girl with lan talking to her ,how lucky she was. She was soon to be going on a trip. When she woke up,she would be in a field of yellow flowers, and her Mom and Dad would be waiting for her. Children would be playing and
food would be everywhere. I was standing ,and Lan had been whispering all of this into her ear."I saw a small smile,before she died," Lan seemed sad but accepting the girls fate.
Lan looked at me, and before she could say anything,I simply said "I sent her away with hope."
Lan left me that night and moved into my memories. I have no idea what happened to my first love. That happened 44 years ago,and yet that night is as clear to me as a brand new window.
If you want to learn about Vietnam,ask a veteran who was there. Dont"t buy a movie.
People should not profit on an ocean of blood and all my tears.

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