April 29 (3)

After my escape during the fall of Saigon, I returned to Maryland in May 1975, but I had leased my house for three years when I was assigned to Vietnam in 1974. I took up residence in a motel and called my wife, now staying with her father in Massachusetts, to come to my aid. Despite my obvious illness, she refused. She said she wouldn’t come back to Maryland until we could get our house back. The family now living there had to be paid to relinquish the house. I wasn’t able to get it back until July, 1975. Only then was I able to live again with my wife and four children.

The message from my wife was clear: she didn’t give a damn about me. Her only concern was getting the house back. That was the beginning of the end of the marriage. We divorced a few years later.

The fall of Vietnam and its aftermath were, in short, the worst time of my life. I went on to other relationships with women and other career goals. But the wounds of those years have not gone away. Post-Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI) stays with me, as it always will. And my relationships with women have come and gone, most importantly with the death of my partner of over twenty years, Su, two years ago.

But the future holds promise. I retired thirty years ago and have now published six books and 17 short stories. I’ve now recovered enough from Su’s death that I can seek the company of a woman.

The future, despite my brutal past, looks promising.

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