Marching in the Vietnam Veterans’ Parade in NYC 1986

In the summer of 1986, the city of New York gave permission for the only Vietnam veterans’ parade in New York.

All veterans were invited to attend a march across the Brooklyn Bridge to Battery Park to the Vietnam Memorial. I wanted to be with the crowd, and although Mary did not, she still came with me.

There were hundreds of veterans in uniform, some in the jungle-type uniform we used at war. As we crossed the bridge, many people were standing along the railing, cheering us on.

I was dressed in combat boots, army jacket, and beret and had all my medals pinned to my chest. About midway across the bridge, I started taking off my medals and giving them away. People were amazed that I would do this.

But I wanted no more to do with the unjust war. I know for a fact that my actions were because of my Bible training. Thus, my medals, combat rope, and hat were given away on the Brooklyn Bridge march. I even wanted to step out of my combat boots and walk away from them, but I had no other shoes to put on.

The only thing I had left after that day was my uniform and boots.

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