Face of the Enemy Excerpt: Chapter 31

We approached the Wall together, all of us strangers before that day and becoming fast friends. Carlos had introduced himself to them not long before we ran into each other. We split up one by one to search for the names of guys we had known. 

While we were there, I overheard a group of women discussing another memorial. One of them was Diane Carlson Evans. I recognized her because there were some news stories about how she was organizing a memorial specifically to honor the women who served in Vietnam. The little bit I read about it added to what I overheard from their conversation; I knew it was something easy to support. The nurses, like the one who I remembered from the hospital in Saigon, were barely acknowledged. They deserved recognition for all they had done and sacrificed. I didn’t realize I had been eavesdropping for so long until the small circle of women started to break up. Compelled to say something, I stopped Diane before she walked away.

“Excuse me,” I said. “My name is David Chung and I spent time in Vietnam. I overheard what you were saying about a women’s memorial, and I just wanted to say that what you’re doing is a good thing.”

She was cordial, smiled and said, “Thank you.”

At that point she was becoming famous in the Vietnam vet community for all that she was doing. I was too intimidated by her celebrity to engage her in any further conversation. Besides, I was still checking out the Wall. 

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