Wars Last ForeverMay 25, 2013
Wars can have a far-reaching sting. To die for some coat-and-tie ideas in Washington is to put a high price on someone else’s opinion.
A few weeks ago I received a package that contained a jacket and a very poignant letter, parts of which are too personal to relate here. The story the letter tells would be mostly forgotten and lost to history, were it not for a very caring and thoughtful man whom I do not know. His name is Nelson Connell.
Please accept this jacket with respect and honor that you both deserve. For the last forty years I have wondered where to place it, besides my closet. After reading your story of being a fighter pilot in Vietnam, I felt moved to send it to you.
God moves in mysterious ways and you’ll receive the jacket the very day that my story begins. It’s the 44th anniversary of the Battle on Hamburger Hill, May 10th thru 20th, 1969.
Roger, my brother-in-law was in a supply convoy that was ambushed by the Viet Cong. They took out the front and rear vehicles and everyone got out and jumped in to the canals, which were mined. Roger and his sergeant got under a vehicle and were the only ones who survived. The jacket belonged to his best friend, Bob, who lost his life on Hamburger Hill. That’s where they were taking the supplies, but they never made it.
This has been emotional for me, but I know you’ll do the right thing for the jacket.
God bless and take care.
At age eighty-two I feel the jacket and accompanying letter should not remain in my care much longer. I am trying to decide where they should rest in perpetuity; a place where the names Roger, Bob and Nelson will forever be remembered by history?
After retiring from the Air Force in 1970, I built an art gallery in Santa Fe that my wife and I ran for seventeen years. Since then, my energies have been directed toward excavation of a large Indian pueblo and writing books about art and exploration. I hope you enjoy my blog!