Tuesday, September 26, 2006


I sent to my dad yesterday:

Reminded me of some of the stories you have told.

His reply:

"I was there, there at Clark Air Base at the end of April, in 1975! And, I got
handed a baby too!"

(an unusual coincidence (sp?) that I would be reading some stranger's blog and come across a situation my father was involved in 31 years ago... intense situation, really.)

Excerpt: (Warning, it gets a bit preachy towards the end) ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"4th of July In April 1975, I lived on Clark Air Force Base, at Angeles City, Philippines. I was 19 years old. One night I received a call from the
Catholic Chaplin asking that I come to the church. When I arrived there
were at least 30 or 40 other people gathered in the chapel. We were told
that in 20 minutes a plane from Vietnam was going to land at Clark. It's
purpose was to airlift babies and children out of Vietnam. It was necessary
to establish a temporary housing facility for these children on their way to
the United States. Volunteers were needed to take care of these children
during their stay at Clark.
We boarded buses which drove us out on the tarmac of the airfield. A large
C5 was sitting on the tarmac with it's doors open. We filed off the bus and
climbed up the stairs to the plane. I can't even describe the emotions
going through me as I stepped into the plane, and saw what seemed like
hundreds (though I know it was less) of children sitting on the floor of the
plane. No seats, or anything else that I can remember just children. As we
filed through the plane, we were each handed two children, and we
disembarked to get back on the buses. We rode back to the base gymnasium
where it had been converted. Through out the gym there were mattresses laid
out, and we each were assigned a mattress. As I walked to the area assigned
to me, a young airmen with two infants in his arm came up to me. He was
obviously at a loss with what to do with an infant. I had two toddlers.
Without even exchanging words we switched children. We stayed with the
children, bathing them, washing them with Quell shampoo to de-lice them,
feeding them, playing with them and sleeping with them. I don't remember,
but I think we worked in 12 to 14 hour shifts. I remember going home a
couple of times during the next week, to take a shower (in Quell so that I
wouldn't get lice myself) and then going back to start over again.
Somewhere, I have one picture of me with a little boy I took care of. If I
find it I will post it.
One of the last groups of children I took care of were actually I think
from Cambodia. This last group were obviously children who had been
abandoned. From their clothing and attitudes it seemed obvious to me that
they had been living on the streets alone. With the older children we would
take them in buses to the mess hall to feed them. We would file in with our
charges and sit at the tables, and other volunteers would bring trays of
food to the tables. This last group I had literally pounced on the food,
eating as fast as they could, stuffing the food into every pocket, in their
shirts and pants, and then when they couldn't eat anymore, stuffing their
little cheeks to hold for later. I remember trying to put the food back on
the trays, telling them over and over that there would be more. It was
obvious from the looks on their faces, and the food in their clothes and
cheeks that in their lives, this had not been the case. It was months,
maybe even years before I could sleep without that image in my mind.
I have lived in several interesting places in my life, and the one thing
have learned is that freedom is not a worldwide notion. Too many of us take
our freedom for granted. In my mind, unlike what the constitution says
freedom is not a "right", it is a privilege. It is something we must earn.
We earn it every day with the lives of our soldiers who are out fighting for
this privilege. You may not agree with what ever political action is going
on in the world, but we still must thank every soldier who has ever gone to
fight for this country and our privileges. Every soldier from those who
fought in the War of Independence, the Civil War, the Spanish American War,
World War I and II, the Korean War, Vietnam, the Gulf War and now the wars
in Afghanistan and Iraq. Those who go out and are stationed at every base
throughout the world, and every embassy throughout the world. As I
celebrate the 4th of July tomorrow, I will be silently thanking all of them for
giving us and maintaining our freedom.


Post titled:

By this I mean: Rachel Bilson, those Kate witht he brown hair, probably the Olsen twins and probably the Olsen twins long long ago...

The first Invasion of the Duck-Baby aesthetic just happened to be Dawson's Creek. All the girls and a few of teh boys look like (cartoon?) baby ducks.
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