Veterans are different from you and me

"For those who have fought for it freedom has a taste the protected will never know"
Engraved on a Vietnam War era Zippo lighter.

When I sat with them, it took me a long time to find a place to sit. I am not a veteran.

These guys were nearly my age, mostly a tad older, Vietnam War vets. I couldn't figure what it was that kept telling me not to sit at this table, or at this table, or even at this table, as I walked the circle of tables set up around the theater in the center of the Vietnam Era Educational Center in Holmdel, N.J.

Korea was called the forgotten war. Vietnam was the let's forget it war. But that's not it for these guys. They seek their own. Who else would understand? No movie can bring justice to the reality.

But here we are with a small piece of war trivia, a simple Zippo lighter, a borrowed collection of them here, in a fitting place, outside the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial.

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Copyright © 2008 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Photos and content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission.

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