Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

Tom's Journal.

This somber photo and text made my eyes tear.

I grew up in the suburbs of Milwaukee [St. Francis] Wisconsin, and a farm family moved in next to our house at 4008 S. Lipton Ave.,in the early 1950's-- the Voltner family. Butch and Joe were two boys about my age that lived next door, and we chummed together quite a bit, until I joined the Army in 21 August 67. Butch joined the Marines about 6 months later, and got killed in Vietnam. His name is on the Wall in D.C., and I know that his Mom took his death very hard. She always wanted to talk to me and was very emotional... and I was, for some reason "guilty" for surviving my time in Vietnam. I guess that he also had a girlfriend back at home too. Donald "Butch" Voltner, was not in Vietnam very long, perhaps 6 months or less-- while I was there for two full tours of duty [over 2 years], but it doesn't take much to kill the fragile human body. Bullets and 'Frag' grenades are very unforgiving. On THIS 'Day of Remembrance', MOST military men and women think and dwell upon someone we knew who fell in combat/ war/ battle. Truthfully, MOST of the goofy, ignorant civilians [Jodie's], non-combatants, who were not taught proper etiquette, morals and manners -- think it's just another 'free day' to get drunk and party hardy. Shame...

Tom Schuckman
Jesus is Lord.

Arlington National CemeteryMoore had been photographing the wars for years, and he'd seen a lot of suffering, destruction and death in Iraq and Afghanistan. "I felt I owed the Arlington National Cemetery a little time. Maybe we all do."

On May 27, 2007, Moore encountered Mary McHugh, who "sat in front of the grave of her fiance James 'Jimmy' Regan, talking to the stone. She spoke in broken sentences between sobs, gesturing with her hands, sometimes pausing as if she was trying to explain, with so much left needed to say."

Moore introduced himself, and McHugh told him about her 26-year-old fallen soldier. James Regan had gone to Duke University, and he had opportunities outside the military. Even inside the military, he could have been an officer. But he didn't want to risk getting stuck with a desk job, so he became an Army Ranger.

Regan was deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq four times in three years. McHugh and Regan had planned to marry right after his last tour of duty was completed. But in February 2007, Sgt. Regan was killed by a roadside bomb.

Friends and family had, naturally, worried when Regan announced his decision to join the army. "He couldn't not do it," McHugh explained. "He said, 'If I don't do it, who will?' "

Three years have passed since his death. The war has dragged on and more Section 60 graves have been dug and sodded. With no ot


Christopher said...


First off and as always, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!

I avoid saying 'happy' on this day as it saddens me.

Do not misunderstand, I love each and everyone of our fallen hero's for their valient service but saddens me that they fell in a fight for basic human right's; Life , Liberty and the Pusrsuit of Happieness.

When, oh when will Heaven meet Earth? I pray for that day.

Mary Ann said...

This is a great post. I wish that more Americans would understand and appreciate the sacrifices these men and women made for us. They are the true heros. I am very thankful and will not forget... and I will teach my children as well.

Thank you for serving! God bless!

Cathy said...

Nice, Tom. I think you might be underestimating alot of citizens who have truly come over to see, as they age, how much a sacrifice is made by such young, noble men and women. The young have nothing but the moment, the elder of us have nothing but the past when it comes to sorrowful memories of long gone friends in battle. But we ALL have a future, and I look to it in hope that someday we'll have a MEMORIAL to the fallen that causes people to STOP making war.