With today being Memorial Day, I thought I would use the power of my space to tell you about a fine young man who died serving his country in Vietnam. PFC Thomas Wayne Myers, born on March 9, 1943, was my next-door neighbor. I was just a child of 12 years old, on that warm Spring morning of May 27, 1969, when Tommy died at Dinh Tuong Province, Vietnam.
I remember being outside, playing by myself, when the Army car pulled up in front of the house, on Saturday, May 31st. It was Memorial Day weekend! Two men, dressed in uniforms, got out of the car and walked up the driveway to ring Mrs. Myers’ doorbell. I stood on my front lawn and watched as they approached Mrs. Myers’ front door to tell her that her son had died in service to his country. From that moment on, there was a pall cast over my neighborhood; a silence that grew eerie, as no one had the right words needed to comfort Mrs. Myers.
Tommy Myers came from a good family; a hard-working family. Mrs. Myers was a gem of a neighbor; normally a jolly woman filled with love for life. But on that day in May, 1969, much of life was robbed from her. She was never the same after learning of Tommy’s death. She drew inward and kept to herself. As I reflect on how Mrs. Myers reacted upon hearing of Tommy’s passing, I now realize that she suffered her loss alone.
Make the Most of this Memorial Day
As we take time today to remember those who gave their lives, so that we might live in freedom, let’s be thankful for their sacrifice. Let’s also remember the Mrs. Myers’ of the world who gave the greatest sacrifice – their own child. Tommy Myers, may you rest in Christ’s Peace – Amen.
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