When the Soldiers Come Home

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

Photo Credit: “Burst of Joy” is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph by Associated Press photographer Slava “Sal” Veder, taken on March 17, 1973 at Travis Air Force Base in California

In Love Comes Home, my new Rosey Corner book, the story starts with the surrender of Japan and everybody celebrating the news that the war is over and the “boys are coming home.” Then later in the book, there are homecoming scenes. That’s why I asked readers who might have homecoming stories of their own, real ones and not fictional ones like mine in the book, to share those with me. A couple of weeks ago when I wrote about the passing of my husband’s Aunt Annie, I included a coming home story about when her husband made it home from World War II. I actually used hints of her story in one of the homecoming scenes in Love Comes Home. That story also touched Judy as it reminded her of the homecoming of her husband from Vietnam. Here’s her story. 

“When my husband was in Viet Nam ,we were newly married. I wrote and mailed a letter every day(2 on Sat. for Sunday). I had the last letter in mail box, since he was to be home in 1-2 wks. I had an appt. to get my hair fixed, knew what I was going to wear. I told him in the letter I’d eaten onions but they’d be gone before he came home. I didn’t hear his voice, and had one 3-way call in 15 months. I was so happy ..and that very day, he came home. He’d gotten an early plane out and hadn’t slept in days. He came in, at the nearest airport and went to where his Dad was working, and he brought him to my parents, where I was living…I was so shocked…and very happy, onions and all…we went to visit his Mom, and went to a hotel, and he was so tired and sleepy, he knocked out..was I glad…because it was as if he had changed so much…he was much changed and for the second time I fell in love again even more than I was….I thank God he made it home.. 46 yrs ago.”

Thank you for sharing with us, Judy. I’m sure that memory still is as bright today as it was then. 

I went out on the net to look for a picture of a Vietnam homecoming and found the one above. This is not Judy or anyone I know, but a photo taken of the homecoming greeting of one of the POWs who were released after the war. The picture tells it all and it’s no wonder it won a Pulitzer Prize for the photographer. The link here to War Tales tells the story of a World War II veteran, Russell Ogan, who also served during the Korean War and was still in service when the Vietnam War ended. Here’s what the retired Brigadier General said after looking back on his three decades with the Air Force. “Taking the prisoners out of Hanoi was the highlight of my career.” You can read the rest of his story at the War Tales link. I’m sure he had some great homecomings of his own during his service to our country too. 

Remember, the giveaway contests are still going on until the end of June. Get details for my website giveaway on my News & Events page and you can throw your name in my blog contest hat (picking 5 winners of one of my books) by leaving a comment on one of my posts here in June. Please leave a way to be contacted if you want to enter the contest. Each comment on a new post gets you a new entry in the blog contest. One entry per person in the website contest. And you have to be 18 to enter.