Friday, June 13, 2008

For a Friend I Never Got to Meet

Sometime in the late eighties I took a friend to the VA hospital.  While I was waiting, a man had a computer printout of the POWs and MIAs.  As I looked through the pages, I passed by what I thought was last name Derringer.  I backed up to see what would be the first name of someone named after a gun.  I turned out to be Dillender, William Edward.  Then a chill hit me as I saw his D.O.B 10-06-51.  The same as mine.  

As I sit there I tried to think what I was doing when I was 19.  I thought about him often.  In the middle nineties when I got my computer I would go to Memorial Wall site a lot.  It took a while with a dial-up modem at 28K. So every year on my birthday I always celebrated it with William.  I don't know if he is my older friend or younger friend, perhaps I never will.  I just know he is my friend that I never got to meet.  I understand his remains were found and that he was sent home to his family.  I wanted to get a bracelet before his name was removed the list.  I will always wear it. And that's that.

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