Our Vietnam Veterans
Our Vietnam veterans whose price was so high,
That they have to fight and so many have to die.
They showed us courage of men tho they were young boys,
Tho 58,000 will speak no more their hearts will be with us for ever more,
Yes, our Vietnam veterans both dead and alive payed the price for you and I.
By Ron Hayes
I’d known Lil Lonnie and his siblings since they were youngsters, playing stick ball, running from lawn to lawn, going to Aunt Willie Eva’s Park, with Ron and his siblings in tow. Lil Lonnie was the oldest, so he was the one in charge. Although my kids were slightly younger, it made no difference to them. They led them around the neighborhood, “showing them the ropes” and keeping them safe while their Gramps or I ran errands. They were also ALWAYS at each other’s houses, sharing corn bread and catsup. (lol) Ms. Josephine, their mother, was probably unaware. We were next door neighbors and in those days, neighbors loved and cared for one another.
Those were happy times, times that will never be forgotten! There is just one thing that saddens me though, and that is, I wasn’t aware of Lil Lonnie’s Vietnam Service. I did not forget, I just never knew! We all have heard how Vietnam Veterans were treated, upon returning home from that war. We can remember those times, during the Vietnam war when, a soldier travelling through the airports was not greeted with love nor honor. Most were either spat upon, insulted, or called “baby killers”. The veterans of the Vietnam era are like a lost group. They are the forgotten veterans. For this, I’m so very sorry!
However, the war was not all inclusive of Lil Lonnie’s life, he did what was expected of him for his country. He served and protected. But, there was also the other portion; a part that I knew very little about.
My life and Little Lonnie’s life, went in different directions when he became a young man. I don’t know the history of his life after that, however, it is my sincere wish that it impacted everyone’s life that he met thereafter, just as it did my children’s and mine when he was literally, LIL LONNIE! RIP Lil Lonnie.