Special Veterans by Joe Stephan
addition to my father, who served 26 years in the Air Force and flew
planes in three
wars for this country, and my kid brother, an Air Force
Academy graduate who flew
F-4s and F-16s for 18 years and trained many
pilots who flew in Desert Storm;
today's real thoughts are with Terry
Tabor and my Two-Wheel Brothers
"Hangtown Joe" and "Sick Puppy".
three were Vietnam Vets who came
home permanently ruined. After being
wounded Terry hid from it all in Australia
for two years afterwards and
learned how to drink everyone under the table,
yet taught me how to live
life with his happy-go-lucky attitude. Joe was forever
haunted by their
more than once being ordered to shoot everyone, including
children, when they would take a small village and then couldn't
out who was who.
Both were so badly troubled they eventually took
Puppy dealt with it all by being a wacko, off-the-wall
character--the built-in entertainment as well as bartender at the now
Club House biker bar and motorcycle repair shop in Sacramento--yet
still so troubled inside he eventually drank himself to death.
have given you the shirts off their backs even if they'd
needed them more.
Puppy showed me more than once there was a heart of
gold behind that
gruff, grizzled exterior. Though its been many years I
still grieve for them.
A piece of me died with Puppy.
Godspeed guys. I
loved you like my
Brothers you will always be.