I was jolted awake by my mother.

I had been home only a couple of days and my mothers gentle touch seemed to hurl me across the room.

She had only touched my shoulder to tell me breakfast was ready.

She could not understand the fear and confusion in my eyes as I tried to regain my composure and give her a weak smile.

She could not understand that she had just pulled me from a burning chopper and that all my crewmates were dead or wounded.

She would never understand, and I would never tell her, I would crawl from that chopper countless times, just before I awoke, in the years to come.

To mom, I was home.

Hell, I’d only been gone 12 months.

She dotted over me and figured a few good home-cooked meals and a few good nights sleep and I would be the same ole’ Denny.

She would never know how heavy a single arm or leg is to carry with the rest of the body missing.

She would never know the feeling of revenge I would have by killing just one more enemy.

She would never know about me trying to breath life into a soldier I knew was dead before I started.

She would never know that me and my fellow crewmen had absolutely no chance of being retrieved after being shot down - but we were.

She would never know of the times I wished I could just go home and forget all

She would never know of the times that I was a coward and could have probably saved a life, if I hadn’t been concerned of my own, and got my head out of the mud.

She would never know, that as a soldier in Vietnam, I was not concerned with the pride she had in me, I was concerned with the pride I had in myself.

She has long ago figured out that I will never be the same

I’ll never be able to explain to her or others.

As for others - If you were not there and have questions, I have no answers

If you were there, you have no questions.

By: Denver D. Adams

Background By: Justin K. Holland

Assistant Webmaster
The Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Wall Page

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Music: "Platoon"