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In the Rain
(c) Dennis Johnson
Sitting here, warm and dry, I think of the rains of Vietnam.
Guys could go a long time before having a day pass when we weren't...
                In the rain.

How many of us went to see Forest Gump to see, at least in part, if they got it right.  And sitting there you hear the screen asking, "How long has it been raining?'  and you hear a few guys, yourself included, softly call out,

"Four months", or "For months".

And nobody laughs.

And then, Oh God!, you're back there again.

In the rain.

There are so many things that can take you back.  But, mercifully, not always to the very same place; ...but often enough.

I coped pretty well.  I never lived under a bridge.  I never asked for a hand-out.  But I sure needed a hand.

And there have been times I was given a hand.

I would never have made it this far, and been finally able to get to a place where I can dare to feel, had it not been for my Diane.  She has taught me, held me; held me together.

And then there was the sailor in the wheelchair at The Wall in D.C. It was he who first welcomed me home after more than twenty years...

And I couldn't speak; couldn't thank him. I couldn't breathe.  All I could do was hang on, wait it out, lie to myself that I was OK.

That was July 4, 1993.  An incredibly hot and dry day.

And there I was...


In the rain.


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