Delta Company 1/20
Delta Company, 1st Of The 20th, 11th Light Infantry Brigade
On June 10, 1969 Delta Company went to the aid of the Alpha Company. On that day, Alpha had lost their company commander, Captain Walsh. This letter is from his widow (now re-married), Bonnie Walsh Ward:
We have several people who are tenderly remembering those dates in Vietnam. I am still in awe of Delta Company as they came in to support their sister company. Each person in Delta put their life on the line as they went to help Alpha. I am still so very grateful to the Delta men for their "brotherhood" in arms.
Okay...that is the way of the Infantry. There was never a doubt that Delta would go and help Alpha. Alpha would have done the same for Delta or Bravo or Charlie. Yet I'm saying you guys made a permanent place in my heart since my husband's body was on the ground and so many of Alpha were wounded. Thanks is never enough for me.
Maybe I wasn't good at expressing my appreciation for the wonderful welcome to your reunion last year. It was so special to me. I have never had such an experience. Like many of the Vietnam men, I had never had any kind of "home coming" or recognition. If you remember, Chaplain Sullivan was still trying to remember his time in 1/20TH and it was a blur to him. He has since advanced his memories and is coming full swing to remembering that year in Vietnam.
By getting together and communicating we are able to open up wounds in a safe environment. Then we can heal together and recognize the heroism and the bas ic "luck" the guys had in common! No one is really a saint and no one is really a bad guy. We are all a mixture. One thing I know for sure, Vietnam brought out the best in all of us.
Which is why many think it was a "Year they will never forget" because in some ways, it was their best year. They learned they were indeed, brave. They learned they were equal. They learned the value of life. They learned loyalty. They learned brotherhood. They learned to cook and eat their own cooking. They learned bugs really do bite and there are bad things that go "bump" in the night. They learned getting mail makes a whale of a difference in a day and that no mail hurts less than "Dear John" mail. They learned who their friends were and they were the guys next to them in the squad. They learned to trust true leadership and to be wary of "authority".
None of those experiences could have been learned in a year in college or a lifetime in Canada.
If going to war was easy, no one would oppose it.
Many thanks to you, Alan for your friendship.