It was May 6, 2003. I had just returned from the Vietnam Veterans Reunion in Melbourne, Florida. I was staying with another Wolfhound from Alpha Company, Mike Moschkin who lives in Tampa. Mike was checking his email and remembered that this guy named Tom Demunnick had emailed him. What Mike didn't tell me at the time was that not only was Tom there when he was there, nor did he tell me that Tom was there when I was there. Further, he didn't tell me that Tom was in the 2nd Platoon.
Well, I told Mike that I needed to respond to this email. So, I wrote to Tom informing him that I was in Alpha Company, February to September 1967 and that I remembered the Platoon Sargent and Sgt. John Riley.
Tom responded that he didn't remember either of us. He also said he was there from July 1966 to July 1967. But, we had established a communication. We began putting names out there and not only did Tom know some of the same guys Mike and I knew but he was close to the some of the same guys that we knew. But, moreover was the fact that he knew some of the men I have been looking for since I left Vietnam.
One of the first names we discussed was John Riley. Tom had pictures of him carrying the M-60 and I had a picture of him with the M-79. We bounced back and forth as to whether or not we were talking about the same Riley. Tom described the Riley he remembered and it was the same Riley. I will never forget Riley because he was one of the last faces I saw when I was medi-vaced on September 4, 1967 in Tay Ninh.
Riley, was the friend I saw get hit during an ambush and went to pull him back to the treeline and I was hit. But, Riley was not the only one I remembered. There was the Platoon Sargent Kenneth Black and others. Tom sent me some photos and at one glance I remembered him. I don't worry about him remembering me. As one of the hardest things for us to deal with since the war in Vietnam is our problems with memory. I recognized some of the faces in Tom's pictures but I can't remember the names.
We may not remember each other and that's okay. I had all but given up on some of my issues surrounding the men Tom and I both knew in Cu Chi. I still don't know who made it and who didn't. But, a valuable piece of the puzzle has been furnished .... I have a picture of some of them.
THANK YOU TOM AND WELCOME HOME BRO!