In 1994, Random House published my book, Prisoners of Hope, about POWs from the Vietnam War.
I could tell a long story about what happened when the book hit the stores. Suffice it to say, controversy ensued. Among other things, a protester burned a stack of my books at the Vietnam Wall on Veteran's Day; I had to have an armed bodyguard on my book tour; and the Secret Service and FBI came to visit me after I was threatened by a man who was last known to have threatened the President.
The only time I responded aggressively was when someone sent out a notice offering my children's toys for grabs on Christmas Day, and offered a free box of shells to whomever could hit "the target," listing my home address as the target site. I don't like it when people mess with my kids. The aggressor ceased and desisted.
Aside from all that, though, there was one seriously goose-bump inducing moment.
Many years earlier, my father had succumbed to the psychic wounds of having fought in the Korean War. He died on 25 September, 1971.
Soon after my book was published, Dad's former secretary read a newspaper article about the book. She sent me a package and a letter:
I found this old roll of undeveloped film when I cleaned out your dad's desk. I thought you would like to have it....
She was right. I was overwhelmed to receive such a treasure. Little did I know how marvelous it would be.
I developed the film that had remained in its canister for 33 years.
The resulting pics made me nearly pass out. They were an entire roll of battlefield shots my Dad and his friends took in Korea. Much like that war itself, the film long had been forgotten - even by one of its participants, to the point that he never developed his film. Those pictures now are among the handful of items I would save in a fire.
Today's Challenge: A shot of my Dad in Korea. In future posts, I will have more Challenges featuring some of these pics. This one, though, is a softball. Weapon, please. And just for the sake of perfunctory difficulty, when did the Army stop using it? Oh, and if anyone knows what's on his wrist, you get extra points. Happy Milspotting...