Rudy Gomez is a brave Vietnam Veteran who has lived with tortured memories for forty eight years. But finally he has come to terms with his memories and found relief. His story was featured in a story found in The Independent Journal titled: For 48 Years He Didn’t Want to See His Old Vietnam Marine Buddies. This Year, He Made an Exception. It was submitted by Victoria Taft.
Gomez decided he wanted to be a US Marine after watching many John Wayne movies. He followed through on that wish and enlisted in the Marines and found himself a member of the 3/26 Marines in the 5th Marine Division smack dab in the middle of the Battle of Khe Sanh. He was wounded but survived.
He had heard that you did not make good friends with his fellow Marines in combat. You never knew when you might not be there the next minute or vice versa. He followed through on that advice and found that today he could not even name the Marines he served with in battle.
Because of the intense battle experiences he accumulated he found it difficult to adjust to civilian life after the war. He suffered from PTSD and even though he worked at the Post Office for thirty three years his PTSD made going outside and engaging in unfamiliar activities awkward. He still didn’t want to get too close to anyone including his former unit members. He just wanted to forget and seeing them would make letting go of those memories even harder.
Gomez finally broke through his self erected emotional wall of isolation and decided to reunite with his old unit at a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the reactivation of the 3/26 Marines, which was held at San Diego’s Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial.
CLICK HERE to see Rudy Gomez’s full interview where he talked about his experiences as a US Marine in Vietnam and his life after.