SGT. Robert Weber aka My #1 Dad 1967
This is my Hero, my Father and his life altering experience in Vietnam. My father was drafted into the Army at just 17 years old, the same year he lost his father and the year he graduated high school. He became a SGT and was serving with his armored tank group. They were ambushed and my father with no regard to his own safety, threw himself into the line of fire and saved most of his guys. He was hurt so badly by shrapnel that he had to be opened up on the field. He lost his lung but kept his life. He was awarded 3 Purple hearts, 2 bronze stars and one silver star. This entire experience damaged my father emotionally and I don't believe he got relief until the moment he passed away, just 11 years ago.
My mother has often told me of times after they were newly married that she would wake in the middle of night to find my father standing over her in their bed acting out a scene of war. He was trying to shoot the enemy. I also remember many times as a teen that he would have too much to drink and just cry and cry while looking at his memorabilia. I can remember telling him that I was proud that he survived and that he was my hero. Everytime he corrected me and said sternly, "The real heros are the men who didn't make it home". Vividly I remember him showing me a photo album with a couple hundred wallet photos of the kids he graduated with. He would point to the boys and say "We lost him, and him, and him..." It was the saddest thing I've ever seen. To see your Hero cry.
After I lost my dad to a heart attack in 98, I was given a large box of his personal items. Inside were items I recognized like a camo blanket, Army shirts, car stuff, old car mags & that darn album full of his friends that he lost. I cherish the heck out of that. Too bad we can't go back in time with the knowledge we have today. I would be more of a comfort to him. I would listen more and hug him till he told me to go away. Isn't that funny that I am the one who ended up with that album? Some things are just meant to be. Now that I think about it. I need to scrapbook that for my kids.