So, I got honorably discharged (medical) and went with my husband to Maine. At the time of my discharge, I was a Lcpl working in Washington, D.C., as an admin clerk (0151) at the Marine Corps Institute (at the Navy Yard).
Come to find out, I would have been medically discharged in 1977 anyway 'cause I lost the use of my right hand completely, and I was right handed! When I was in boot camp getting my shots (with new air-pressured, gunlike apparatus!), the nurse wasn't paying attention (flirting with a guy nurse), missed my muscle, and damaged a nerve in my upper right arm.
The Marine Corps missed the diagnoses; and 3 years later, it was too late! The nerve died and my muscles withered away.
I'm very active in helping veterans and belong to the DAV. I've held many offices at Chapter and State levels. I have gotten a bill before the State of Maine's Legislative body to start a Women Veterans Committee, which should pass in January. Now, there will be a voice and an advocate for women veterans in the State of Maine.
I also volunteer at the VA hospital and have driven the DAV van to pick up veterans who have no transportation to the VA hospital, but I can't do that anymore due to other disabilities.
FORGOTTEN ME (A Soldier's Story) I did my duty and answered my country's call. I went to war and saw many of my comrades fall. I served my country, oh so proudly, so why have you FORGOTTEN ME? You remember on Memorial Day, those who served and passed away. The flags, the uniforms, the bands you see, but why have you FORGOTTEN ME? I am the veteran who made it home, sometimes to a hero's welcome. But after awhile I become just a memory. Why have you FORGOTTEN ME? Even though the war I served is gone, the aftereffects still linger on. I gave so proudly, so unselfishly, but you have FORGOTTEN ME! I might be in a wheelchair or walk with a cane, but I fought for my country, so I don't complain. I didn't forget you while I was doing my duty, so why have you FORGOTTEN ME? So next time when someone says 'put our wars behind us,' stand up and make quite a fuss. Say 'it's our nation's obligation to remember those who served so proudly,' and that YOU HAVEN'T FORGOTTEN ME!!!
Debby Peare Disabled Vietnam Era Veteran
JUST NAMES (A Soldier's Story) I was young when my country said, 'Uncle Sam Wants You!.' Being patriotic and proud, there was only one thing to do. I was told that my country needed me and I never questioned 'Why?.' I just signed on the dotted line and kissed my family goodbye. I went into training and learned how to kill the enemy. Preparing for the time to go to a country across the sea. The day finally came when it was time for me to leave. To help another country fight for freedom, was what I was led to believe. So I went into battle and fought to help set another country free. Killing, bombing, and rifle fire was all around me. Days turned into weeks, and weeks seemed like years, as I saw many young soldiers die and wiped away my tears. As I held one young soldier and he said one last goodbye, I wondered how many more would have to fight and die. I wondered who would tell this young soldier's family, that he died a hero giving his life, taking a bullet for me. When the battle ended and I made it through somehow; I remembered that young soldier, and made a solemn vow. I vowed to tell all who would listen how one hero answered his Country's call. So that maybe young soldiers never have to again, become just names upon a wall.