Don Markum - My Personal Journey
So when you live with a negative label for 40 years, it does something to a person. I am a walking, talking miracle of God because not only did God see fit to bring me home, he led me to a local church in Ada, Oklahoma where I grew in faith and let God work miracles in and throughout my life. Yes, we all had our moments, but every time I went back to the war in my mind, the good Lord provided another way. Even though the news of the day labeled the war as lost, I did not feel like a looser. I did not put one of my men in a body bag. I had done my job, as well as every one of my brothers with whom I served.
Later, after losing an 18-year marriage and a successful job as a teacher at a Technical School in Texas, I spent time living alone in the mountains of New Mexico. After living in Angel Fire New Mexico, for several years, I saw the first Vietnam Memorial built. The Memorial was originally known as the Vietnam Veterans Peace and Brotherhood Chapel and had is origins in a battle near Con Thien, South Vietnam in which 17 men lost their lives. Among the men, was David Westphall, son of Victor and Jeanne Westphall. Doctor James Westphall's family built the Vietnam Memorial in Angel fire new Mexico.
It was in this obscure valley, I met the most wonderful person in the world, my wife, Carole; The most precious gift from God next to my life and my salvation. God saw fit to bring me the most wonderful, life changing, most beautiful person in the world, to save my life again. I began to grow in faith again and see that I was not that person shaped by my past circumstances.
Over the years, having multiple carriers, from teacher/coach, truck driver, successful business owner in California, to local real estate agent, I have strived to do my best, driven to make a difference. I know that the names on the Vietnam Wall do not have that opportunity.
I did not feel, within myself, what the public opinion was toward the Vietnam Vet. That’s why I began looking for a confirmation or a reason to be a winner. I found that reason to be a winner in a simple You Tube video showing that the Paris Peace Accords were signed. The war, that I was in, over 47 years ago was over. Why did I not know about this? Why did not the people of the United States know about this?
I found another video that gave me the understanding I was searching for. Click on the Video, "The Truth About The Vietnam War"
Some of our Battle Brothers are still fighting the war. They have physical wounds constant reminder of their sacrifice and some Battle Brothers still can’t shake the memories of battle or the constant fear.
The most unbelievable fight, some are still waging, is one that should never have been a fight. The fight of being treated like second-class citizen, murderer, or some evil person because we did what we were told. Some soldiers, to this very day, feel the sting of the Vietnam War protesters, the news media, and the general public, as they too, chose not to seek the truth.
Read the TRUTH in a book:“An American Amnesia” written by Bruce Herschensohn, a President Nixon Aid and an American political commentator, author and senior fellow at the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy in Malibu, California.
I found what I was looking for, WE DID win the Vietnam War. Our soldiers, over 2,600,000 that served and the over 58,000 names on "The Wall", did not die or sacrifice in vain. They died for Democracy and we DID WIN the war. . The United States military might had won the war, if only for 2 years, 3 months, and 3 days. South Vietnam was Democratic, not Communist, If not for only 2 years, 3 months, and 3 days. The Vietnam War was Won, our POWs were able to come home.
That is what I want all Vietnam Veterans to know. They are Winners. Their pain and confusion and even the Looser Label have an ending. They do not have to carry that with them anymore. We can begin to feel better about what we fought and sacrificed for had a winning ending.
So I give all Vietnam Vets I see and meet, a business card size card, containing the two You Tube videos and the www.VDay.org site. The web site also has name of the book to go and research themselves. If they are changed in their thinking and feel the desire to do so, they can get the cards, FREE, can tell every Vietnam Vet they see hat they too are a “WINNER”.
If you are so inclined, please do your research and view the videos and even buy the book. Then if you want to have a business card, to give out to all the Vietnam Vets you see, just let me know and I will send you 25 - 100 "Cards of Encouragement" FREE