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.