Friday, June 10, 2011
LETTER I READ THIS MORNING - LEFT AT WALL IN 1985
June 8, 1985
Although it's been fifteen years since you've been gone it feels like it could have been fifteen days. Many times I have regretted not getting to know you better than I did. There was a quiet, sensitive goodness about you. You were one of the guys that had been with the unit awhile and was getting “short”. I knew about your girl, your Mom & Dad and that you wanted to put your time in and get home. If anyone knew you at all, they liked you a lot.
I'll never forget being awakened at three that morning by the hysterical crying of Denny Newbill and Jerry Hall. “One of our guys is dead!” was all I could get out of Newbill. When Jerry told me it was you, I can remember demanding an answer- "Oh God, Why? Why any of us? Why Eddie?” I never did get any concrete answers. Our whole company felt a tremendous loss. When I left in August, there was still a sense of grief around. Things never did get back to “normal”.
I hope you don't mind, but recently I made contact with your parents. They’ve moved twice and are now retired in Missouri, trusting in the Lord that you are at peace. They can't afford to travel much so I've sent them pictures of the Memorial and your name. They're good people, too. I hope to meet them some day.
For years, I felt your life, as well as the other 58,000 lives, was wasted and anyone who wasn't there could not or would not understand what we went through. That's changing now. People are beginning to realize that we were doing our jobs and doing them well. We had to pay the price and until recently, we were the ones tagged as losers, not our government. So if your names on this wall make it harder to send guys half way around the world to die, then maybe it wasn't a total waste.
I love you, brother. I pray some day we will welcome each other home. Peace.
John "Soup'' Campbell