After relaying this story to me one night, he said "could you imagine if I'd been killed, I never would've gotten to tell my brother I was sorry?" This was why I did see his family, only when I did, his brother had moved away, I never got to tell him either.
In this photo another friend, John William Conrad, who also gave "his all" and "Shorty", playing cards, they both were KIA at the same time. I carried this photo around for over 12 years, before I was able to deal with meeting Shorty's family.
I always thought there should have been something I could have done, to have kept them from dying, and also I felt very guilty that I came home, instead of them.
Took me this long to figure out, war was not kind, and no matter what I wished, it did things that nobody can ever figure out the answers to, I then could deal with all of this, for once, since returning.
14 November 1970
He was one fine Marine, having served in the "Nam", he was still giving to his fellow veterans, this was how he died, below you'll find an article about his accident.
He was a special person, again someone I will always remember with a great deal of pride, and respect for having known him!
I say regreabily because after meeting him only once I very much wish I would have known him better!
On May 24, 2003 I along with a close friend Cowboy, from WV, were in D.C. seeing the city prior to Rolling Thunder Parade. Cowboy had a brand new Harley Ultra, for some strange reason he started to lose power on his bike. I told him we had to get the Harley dealership ASAP, but as we were riding towards Fairfax Harley, I notice his power was about gone, then he came up next to me and stated it won't make it any farther. We pulled onto the side of the road, (about three feet wide shoulder) I immediately went to the rear, to get the cars off of us, as this was a very busy six lane highway. Soon we had a guy with his young son on the back of his scooter stop, he asked if we needed help. Cowboy told him the bike was dead and he was on the cell phone trying to find some help for us, the guy left, and soon we had a couple Fairfax police officers helping us with the traffic. While Cowboy was still trying to get help, this same guy returned on his scooter, this time by himself. The police officers informed us we had to get the bike off the highway as many people had been killed on this highway. So this guy and myself pushed Cowboy on his bike over a slight hill, then down the highway about 1/4 mile off the highway, while the officers watched over our bikes.
This guy and I, then walked back to our bikes, upon arrival I realized I didn't even know this guys name, as yet, and he was wearing a 11th Cav. Reg. t-shirt. I served in support of 11th Cav. Reg. so I turned to ask the guy who he was, and who he served with, while in the 11th Cav., then without a word, the worst thing in the world happened, the guy fell backwards onto the highway. He had a heart attack, I attempted CPR, but the officers stopped me and took it over, he was rushed to the hospital in a very few minutes. The officers ran his lic. plate and learned his name was Roger Hale from Ky. I told the officers I knew the hotel where the bunch from Ky. were staying and I would go there to see what I could find out, especially about Roger's young son, the officers asked me to bring the son back to there location, so they could get more family info. At the hotel not many were around, they were downtown, but I did locate the son, and took him back to the location after telling the boy, that his Dad had became ill while helping us. The officers then said we needed to go to the hospital, so the boy rode with the officers and I followed them to the hospital on my bike.
At the hospital I was told upon arrival, by the officers, that Roger had passed away, she asked if I wanted to tell the boy, or did I want her to tell him, I stated, I would, this was one of the hardest job I've had to endure. After telling his son that his dad had passed, I then went in with him into see his Dad for the last time, it was again "the" worse thing I've ever done, but the son, Kyle, was very much a trooper just like his Dad, he stood strong. Kyle decided he wanted to go back to the hotel, the officers at first said no, but after explaining that Kyle wanted to go back, that I was taking him to the hotel, and they could do whatever to try and stop me. They relented, and allowed us to do so, with a female officer following us, as Kyle preferred to ride back with me rather then the officer.
Cowboy and myself were very upset that entire weekend, but we had to get thru for Kyle's sake.
The Ky. group, ("Greasy") were all back at the hotel now, and were already taking care of arrangments for Kyle, Roger's bike, and contacting the immediate family.
This was a very special man, that he not only stopped to help a stranger, but made certain his son was safe first, then returns to help, tells you a great deal about the inner man that he was.
Cowboy and I attended Roger Hales funeral in Lexington, Ky., we met all of his family and friends, judgeing by these family members and friends, Roger was a very great man, it showed in the way they were so understanding, and there love for Roger Hale.
I only regret not knowing him myself, but feel I have gotten to know him from his family and friends, you only meet people like Roger once in a life time, mine was very brief, but will last a lifetime as I carry his name tattoed on my arm.
"A special thank you" to his wife, Lin Hale, and family,
as they are all very special people.
From one veteran to another, Thank you for standing Proud!
Hold your head high, when Old Glory passes by, you deserve it.
Also special thanks to all the families who supported us in our time away from home.
Thank you, MOM and DAD!