Army Mom’s Safe Haven

Christina: No Vietnam for Michael, but...

NO VIETNAM FOR MICHAEL, BUT...

Michael was in Bosnia for about 6 months total, and in Somalia for several months, shortly after the Black Hawk incident, behind sandbags at the Mogadishu Airport. They went on "convoys" if they had to go anywhere and were told to stop for no reason - forbidden.

One of the trucks - I forget whether it was his or another, ran over a woman - the people were crowding around either yelling and throwing things, or cheering at them - the kids wanted food, pens, crayons, lighters, anything. Mike gave away a lot of little things that he had, when he could. Anyway, they could not stop when they ran over the lady, and he has had occasional dreams of that occurrence ever after. In Bosnia, the kids were the same and all the soldiers gave what they could.

Michael observed some men throwing rocks and bottles at an old Bosnian man who was rooting through their garbage, hoping to find something edible. They didn't hit the man or anything but he turned and looked at them and Mike said he would never forget the sad look on the man's face. Michael kept his mouth shut at the time, but he dreams about that now, and feels guilty that he didn't tell them to stop it.

He also was in Germany a total of 6 years, with the Bosnia "trips" in between - he went to Norway on the border of Russia to participate in some kind of joint exercise and got to talk to some of the Russians and they exchanged different things. He really wanted to go to Russia while he was so close, but was not allowed.

Side trips were to Amsterdam and Paris and other places...

He says Bosnia is absolutely gorgeous but the houses bombed out and planes littering airfields etc. - the mountains were pretty - he sent me photos... I am going to try to attach a photo of a Bosnian town near where his base was located. (Tuzla)

I wrote that poem No Vietnam in 1987 when he went into the Army... hoping he would go nowhere that he termed "exciting" - of course now we know the rest of the story.

©Copyright January 18, 2002 by Christina