Darrell Holbrook, of Springboro, Ohio, served during the Vietnam War in 1969-70 as a staff sergeant and platoon sergeant for C Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division. He wrote this note to The World-Herald last week and agreed to share it with our readers.
Last week, Mr. James Martin Davis forwarded to me a draft of his article concerning his involvement and his memories of myself during the Cambodian incursion on May 6, 1970. I confirm his recollections in his article.
I was in fact reported “killed in action” during the combat action, by whom, I have no idea. But such is the fog of intense combat. The remainder of my unit, once arriving on the landing zone the next morning, was surprised to find me alive. Unfortunately, Mr. Davis received only the initial report that I was one of the casualties.
What followed for Mr. Davis was 40 years of mourning my death. I know this feeling, and all combat soldiers share the feeling of loss for a lifetime for their fellow soldiers, whether a good buddy or a total stranger.
We wear the uniform, and as Mr. Davis stated, “in combat we only have each other.” This has been true in all of our wars, and it's just as true today for those who proudly serve our country.
I am happy I am no longer part of a bad memory for Mr. Davis. There is a certain comfort in knowing that an honorable man still remembered me for all these years, even if I had remained nameless to him.