Monday, April 26, 2021

Good Morning Vietnam

We've reached the final week in this year's A-Z Blog Challenge and these last few letters are always a doozie. Here we go-

V is for Valor

Dear Darling Grandboys living on the other side of the world, 

Nana misses you. When we talk via Facetime I want to cry from the missing, but you're so precious and so hilarious I smile instead. You live on the other side of the world because your Daddy is serving his country in the US Army. My daddy served his country too. You never got to know him, but you hear stories about your Poppie and that helps a little. 

In going through some boxes recently at your Mema's house in preparation for her move, your great aunt found a letter I'd written to my Dad (your great-grandfather) when he was in Vietnam. That's on your side of the world but to a not quite nine year old in 1969 it might as well have been the moon.

The letter is written on purple paper and I used four different colored markers to make it feel extra special. Across the top I've written Remember I Love You and I circled it too so he wouldn't forget. 

There are so many things I love about this letter, the first being my question to him asking-'What are you doing over there?' with a follow up ...."I hope you are having a good time." At age nine I did not know or understand the first thing about how war worked and for that I am so very grateful. 

I was telling my brother about the letter and he said that's exactly the kind of letter you want to get when you're fighting a war a world away. One that tells you the ordinary thoughts and doings of your little girl. One that reminds you home is a safe place and love lives there. 

The other thing I absolutely treasure about this letter is my dad kept it. He brought it back home with him when he returned from Vietnam. It was tucked away and this is the first I've seen it in decades. I guess the magic markers were not the only thing that made it special. 

Boys be proud of your homeland. Of America. The small towns and big cities. The natural beauty from coast to coast, her purple mountain majesty and amber waves of grain. 

The peoples so incredibly diverse in their race, religion, thought, and voice. 

The opportunities that abound for anyone willing to work hard. 

The risk takers and the homebodies. The volunteers, the philanthropists, the boy who mows his elderly neighbor's lawn. 

The generosity and unity of spirit we embrace when calamity occurs.

The freedom we have to pray, worship, gather. 

The freedom we have to speak, choose our leaders, be who and what we want to be. 

This is our foundation. It's what those early patriots envisioned when they put pen to paper and birthed a nation that would live on long after they were gone. It's what they gave their life's blood to and for, and what our service men and women have been defending ever since. 

Be proud of the men and women who sacrifice so much to defend the ideals this nation was founded upon. Noble ideals set in motion by imperfect people doing the best they could with what they knew in the times in which they lived. 

Is America a perfect place? No. There are no perfect places. But your country, the US of A, is better than most. She is a nation still growing up, a nation willing to learn from her mistakes, a nation longing to always do better, be better. Be proud of that and know too, how incredibly fortunate you are to be a citizen of the land of the free and the home of the brave. 

When I signed off on my letter to Poppie I told him I couldn't wait until September 29th, the day he would come home. That I was counting the days. Know I am doing the same for you. 



  1. Well if you need me I'll just be over here crying. That was so beautiful. I love every bit of it!

  2. What a precious letter and memories for your grandsons to cherish.

  3. A brilliant post, Joyce. Truth written for the ages. Your grandsons are so blessed to have this treasure to have and to hold and to learn so much from. xo

  4. Well, you just outdid yourself on this one. I truly think that you need to write a book and I'll be first in line to buy and read it. No joke! You have such a beautiful way with words.

  5. Joyce, this post is powerful, full of love and honesty. Thank you!

  6. Another beautiful post Joyce. That letter must be so treasured.

  7. Beautiful words to your boys. They will treasure them.

  8. Joyce,

    Just beautiful! I loved that you're reinforcing the good qualities of our country even though she's not perfect but as you said no place is and yet America comes the closest. Young people today mouth off things they've learned as truth and they don't even know the truth even it bite them in the behind. I pray that our grandkids' generation is great revel for our nation - spiritually and morally, giving hope to Americans and people everywhere when they look toward the US of A for inspiration.

    Villain Looney Tunes A-Z Art Sketch