wasn't sure why I called.
understood that Stephen Hansen/Hanson (I looked for both) most likely was
not ever with and probably never knew my brother, but that's not why I
made the calls. I can't say exactly why I started looking up those numbers,
what it was that made me pick up the phone and start pressing in the numbers,
I'm not able to completely understand or comprehend all the reasons, but
I did. I knew that Perry went through basic with him and onward and it
might be good if the two of them got together. I knew too that this probably wasn't the Hansen/Hanson I was searching for, and as it turned out it was not, but I had reached another Stephen Hansen and he too had been in "The Nam" with the 101st Airborne.
was guarded, a bit solemn and apprehensive at first and why shouldn't he
be. Over the years every veteran has encountered the spectrum spanning
from abuse to "wanna be" from the public, but I introduced myself and as
we talked I told him why I was calling; he relaxed, me too. He talked about
the phenomena of the bond of friendship born under fire, it's in your soul...
it transcends a single life and time. I spoke of the respect and the honor
I hold for all that took the line, made the passage, the great joy and
relief I feel that he and others came home. I said I was searching for
anotherís lost brother of the field, that it would be good for him to know
that the other is all right and to know that there is someone out there.
said he was looking for lost brothers too, we both hoped the other's search
would be fruitful. He was sorry to hear about my brother, "Those FO's were
really in deep, really hanging it out there, all brave men... took guts"
men...?" I said, "You were a helicopter pilot. A flying target out in the open, insertions on an open hill top, exfiltrations from a hot LZ, transporting the wounded, risking your life sometimes just to deliver mail to your comrades in the field; you did it for them. All of you were brave, all of you gave the extra measure."
"Not everybody feels that way and even fewer express it." he continued, "Thanks, I appreciate that."
spoke on of fathers, sons, and brothers lost forever and others yet found...
but more about how life will find a way, how it will go on.
talked for the first time in our lives. We talked for a surprisingly long
time, total strangers, grateful for each other. We each put down our phones
sit here now and look at the light of this day about to end, that light
streaming through the window. Some of those photons passing through colored
sections of glass and as they do they are filtered from the white light
of day to deep reds, rich blues, and everything in the spectrum in between.
The light moves through seemingly unimpeded but now carrying with it some
of the characteristics of the colored glass... forever changed and altering
the appearance of everything it falls on be it reflected or absorbed.
such a clear and beautiful analogy, just like all of you.
came streaming from your homes by the millions, vital, bright and wonderful.
All coming together and passing though each others lives, then continuing
onward; some reflected, some absorbed, all changed by each other.
all of you forever carry some of the character of the lives you passed
through and the lives that passed through you, not just memories, but the
men themselves. Someone's father, someone's son... someone's brother; we
can see their lives colors in you.
know why I called.
for coming home...
for bringing them "all" home... in you.
- Patrick -