Grand Reception

         I served in Vietnam with the 5th Special Forces with a unit whose members were highly decoarted and experienced. They were good men and fearless, all had received purple hearts, some more than once.  I was glad to be among their ranks. Feeling all of that unit pride, the U.S. Army and my country, I came home for a 30 day break between tours. Going through Ft. Lewis, WA, I received a new dress uniform, a free ticket to my destination and a great meal. Steak and eggs. The cook asked me, "How many eggs sarge"? I told him 6. He then asked me how many steaks I wanted, I told him three. I got it all. Ah!!!!!!!! Yes. MY country! A GREAT place.

     I boarded a plane to go on my extended R & R and landed in Atlanta to change planes. Walking down the concourse, I noticed a man coming toward me with a frown on his face. He asked me, "Did you just come from Vietnam"? I said, "Yes, sir". He then looked me in the eye and spit on my uniform. Well.........................As soon as I addressed him against the wall, the Atlanta airport police swarmed over us and asked us what was going on. The man admitted to spitting on me and ever showed the police where he spit on me. He seemed proud of that. Several of the police officers had been to Vietnam.............The man and I were escorted to a small area on the concourse that led to a small and narrow hallway. The police got in a line protecting us from the view of the other people in the concourse and had their backs to me and the man. One policeman took off his billyclub, looked at me, handed it to me, smiled and said, "Go ahead sarge. We won't see anything". I handed him back his club and told him, "Sir! I cannot do this. I have seen enough violence for a lifetime. Let him go. I just want to get home". The man left and one of the policemen told me that he was a doctor of Philosophy at an Atlanta University. What a grand reception I got. I did not want to wear my uniform again while I was on leave.

A retired Special Forces Sergeant Major

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