We Were Winning When He Left

By Dale Dye


There’s a VA facility near my home and I pass by it about three times each week on the long runs I use to keep my body from stagnating as I grow older and achier. Seeing our American flag waving from a tall pole near the entrance to the veterans’ complex always puts a little bounce in my step. So I’m chugging by it last week wearing a sweat-stained PT shirt emblazoned with a replica of the Vietnam Service ribbon when a guy limping toward the entrance and leaning on a cane spots me. He smiles, waves and points to his own shirt that features a map of Vietnam and declares “we were winning when I left.” That got me thinking about the war that shaped me as it did so many of my generation now contemplating their mortality as a result of age rather than enemy action.


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