“I grew up in Vietnam. OCS (Officer Candidate School) and Vietnam took a young man whose father had a first-grade education and whose mother was mentally ill and who probably was headed for trouble, kicked his butt, taught him that he had worth, and turned him around. He became successful in business and built a good life. I wouldn’t want to go through it again, but I wouldn’t take anything for my Vietnam experience.
“I was an FO with the Black Scarves in Vietnam. We’d spend 28-29 out of 30 days in the bush and were known as Black Death among the V.C. My experiences took a toll. When I returned home a psychiatrist friend told me that I had a monster inside of me and if I didn’t get it out, it would eat me alive. He told me to talk with another Vietnam combat veteran who could relate emotionally, not just intellectually. It was some of the best advice I ever had. I could tell you that I have a toothache, but if you’ve never had a toothache, you can never truly understand and relate.”