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Linda Michel White
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Linda Michel White   My Press Releases

My 31 Day Challenge - Day 5 One Day In My Life I Will Never Forget

Published on 3/22/2017
For additional information  Click Here

One Day In My Life I Will Never Forget

 

Because I take responsibility for having only a tenth grade education because of a bad decision I made that would have an effect on me for the rest of my life... I did recognize the importance of an education so I proceeded to educate myself in personal development...

 

When I was 55, I met my future husband, Billy on Christmas Day, 1994 & learned that he was a Navy Seal who served for 37 months in Vietnam... Not having known many veterans I didn't even know what a Navy Seal was at that time... He talked & I listened as I now realize he told me things he probably never told another person... I kept taking mental notes for over a year... Billy had told me many of our Vietnam Veterans got spit on instead of the welcome home they so richly deserved... I had three teenage boys that would soon reach draft age during that horrible time in our history... I deliberately tried to blot the visions of that day's body count courtesy of our TV every night as I was making supper so I didn't really pay much attention to the war itself...

 

I had never written anything before because I had no formal training, though I've always loved reading... I had an idea that I needed to pursue so on this one particularly beautiful day I needed to get my car repaired... I took a blank legal pad, my lawn chair, my drink cup & a pencil... When the service manager directed me to the waiting room I told him that I had something I needed to do & that I would be outside at the back of the lot under a shade tree where I could focus on my project...

 

I've always believed in Divine Inspiration because I always recognized that any good guidance I've ever received came from a source much bigger than myself... That's what I've grown to depend on at the low times in my life... It was proven to me when I found the God of my understanding as I prayed the First Step in an AA meeting that I attended with the resolve that I would get sober... I didn't let anything interfere with my program & it worked... It's been over 26 years since I've had a drink...

 

Getting back to my project, I wanted to write a tribute to my friend Billy to honor him for his service, so the story began... I noticed something that seemed miraculous to me... The words came to me in poem form... I had never written a poem in my life... I titled it,

My Tribute to You Dear Vietnam Veteran!

 

As I remembered the things Billy had told me when I started to put the words on paper they just seemed to flow to me out of thin air... All at once I knew exactly what I wanted to say & how to say it... My mind was on a roll & in fast forward motion... I had never experienced anything like this in my life... It took me an hour & a half... Just when I finished I heard them announce my name over the speaker that my car was finished... I tell you, My Higher Power thinks of everything...

 

When I showed my project to Billy, feeling so proud of my results, he told me that it couldn't be dedicated to him alone... I needed to dedicate it to all who served there, even the guys pushing pencils because everyone there was making a sacrifice... It took me about six months because I was careful to get the same feeling in it... I had it Copyrighted & it had been published in The St. Pete Times so two copies were installed in The Library of Congress... I had 3,000 copies printed on 11X14 gold colored paper with red & green ink (the colors of the Vietnam Flag)& have given them away to Vietnam Veterans that I've met over the years... I went to The Vietnam Veterans Reunion in Melbourne, Florida, I slept in my car in the park with the American Flag not too far from me with a light shining brightly on it... I woke up before dawn to see a lone soldier dressed in desert fatigues standing underneath it... I walked over to him, we talked & he told me he was an Iraq War Veteran... He was there for The Rolling Thunder Vietnam Veterans National Motorcycle Club which was scheduled to leave that morning for Washington D.C., to honor the MIA's in Vietnam on Memorial Day... I told him about the poem & asked him if he would mind taking some copies with him to give along the way... He told me, “Ma'm, I'd be honored”... I found out after that he had a copy installed in The Smithsonian Institute in the section devoted to Our Vietnam Veterans...

 

When I went to visit my son who lived in Gulf Breeze, Florida we went to The Pensacola Naval Air Station... No one was there except for a receptionist because it was a Saturday so I left a copy at the front desk... A few days after I received a very nice letter of appreciation from the director of the museum thanking me for my contribution & he would see to it that it would be installed in The National Naval Museum at The Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida...

 

I was invited to recite it three years in a row at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida... I sent a copy to Colin Powell & received a nice letter of appreciation from him...

 

When I was at the Reunion, I had taken about 1,250 copies with me to distribute to the Veterans who were there... While it cost me $300 to have 3,000 copies printed, when I would tell each veteran I have something for him they would tell me, “Ma'm, I can't afford it”... I would tell them it wasn't very expensive, that it would only cost them a hug... Those copies became priceless to me as it was so worth my while to share the feelings I have for all these people have been through... I spent that entire weekend thanking My Higher Power for granting me sobriety that I might be able to accomplish something like that, beyond my wildest dreams & yes, I did receive 1,250 hugs... Billy was so very proud of that poem, he would show it off to all his friends & make sure they got a copy...

 

If you'd like to read it I have it on the very first blog I put together,

For All Service Members

 

 

a graphic - eagle with flag

 

Please feel free to leave a comment...

 

Thank you for reading only one of my most memorable days...

 

Linda Michel White

(Mama Duck)

almichelwhite@gmail.com

 

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