Episode 1751 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story that appeared in the Metro West Daily News of Framingham, Massachusetts. It was titled: Opinion Column: What is that smell in the air? It was submitted by John Shoemaker.
He is a Vietnam Veteran who served in Vietnam during 1970 and 1971. He was an infantry platoon leader and company commander in the 196th Infantry Brigade while it was a part of the Americal Division in I Corps of South Vietnam. Shoemaker “walked the walk and talked the talk” in Vietnam so he knows what he is talking about in his guest editorial.
His column began with this editorial statement: “Hard to believe that America has been attacked by a hidden enemy that has killed more Americans in 100 days than were killed in the Vietnam War over a decade.”
In this column Shoemaker described his experiences as a platoon leader in realistic detail that included the terrible loss of some of his team members and the taking of enemy lives.
He was so affected by his experiences in combat with its death and destruction, on every Memorial Day the smell of death comes back to haunt him. The Memorial Day of 2020 is different for Shoemaker. He stated this about the current year: “This year in 2020, the smell of death is everywhere for me. I think of all those loved ones who were ambushed by a secret enemy called the coronavirus, especially for those 70 veterans cut down in a Holyoke, Massachusetts, soldier’s home.”
John Shoemaker is another one of those tremendous representatives of the great Vietnam Veteran Generation, one as great as any that ever heeded the call of duty from its country.
Listen to episode 1751 and discover more about the smells that are evoked by Memorial Day for a Vietnam Veteran.