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Vietnam Veterans

Posted: 4:16 PM, May 28, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-28 17:16:49-04

On this day we pay honor and respect to those to fought to preserve our freedom, we speak with a group of veterans.
They share their memories and offer an interesting perspective on why we should particularly those who lost their lives on the battlefield. 

"I remember praying a lot of times behind a burial ground they had above the ground.  You’d be behind it and you’d be praying because all you could hear was the rounds coming over your head."
"Choppers came in to medivac us.  They couldn’t.  They blew them out of the air.  So that’s 8 that got killed on 2 choppers.  Then the 2 Corpsmen.  That’s ten."  

They were sharing memories at Joe Elizondo’s house today.
Marine Corp Tunnel Rat and squad leader Joe Elizondo.
Marine Corp machine gunner Ted Morales.
Marine Corp Fifth Recon Battalion Rey Gonzales.
Navy Corpsman retired Mat Lawson.
And Marine Andrew Garza.

It was Elizondo, a 3 time Purple Heart recipient, who shared his thoughts that a soldier killed in action dies 3 times.      
"One when his heart stops beating.  The second time that he dies is when they put him under mother earth.  And the third time he dies is when they stop talking about him."

Retired Navy Corpsman Mat Lawson.
They were called docs by Marines.  
Lawson served in Iraq and Afghanistan. 
Saving lives in combat.
"You don’t get to save everybody.  And so the ones that you weren’t able to save and bring home, those are the ones you remember.  But you remember them everyday."

Even to this day, Ted Morales remembers one of his fellow marines killed in action.
That Marines’ family asked Morales for a special favor.
"And his parents had requested me to meet his body at Treasure Island San Francisco and take him home to Oregon and bury him." 

So on this day, these men, these veterans, ask that we never forget those fallen warriors or their families.  
As Elizondo has never forgotten the Marine who died in his arms on the battlefield. 
"His name was Cunningham.  And the last words that he said was ‘my mom.  My mom.’  And he’s dying and he’s thinking about his mom.  That he didn’t want her to worry so much."