A Veteran’s Wife Broke My Heart!

It’s not a story about an affair or me being unfaithful to my wife of almost forty-four years.  But it is a story about two neighbors in a small rural town.  I won’t mention any names other than my own. After all for her it is a personal story and better left that way, personal.

The mailman or mail women as it is now days, left one of my neighbor’s letters in my mailbox by mistake.  I had been really busy that morning but made it a point to get her mail to her.

As I rang the doorbell my neighbor, now a frail about eight-four year old lady came slowly to the door.  I greeted her and asked how she was doing.  I saw the struggle in her eyes as well as an air of loneliness.

I knew that her husband and my friend of the last almost eighteen years was now in a nursing home.  He had now been there for about four months.  He had started almost two and a half-years ago with early Alzheimer’s. Now two and a half years later he was in a nursing home, and his wife home alone.

They had raised two daughters who in adulthood had married and moved away to other states. one daughter many years later succumbed to cancer.  The other daughter after a failed marriage move back near home again.

The daughter now near home having children of her own and grandchildren, travels back and forth to see her family.  My neighbor who is home alone now, spends many long days and nights in the loneliness of her home.

It broke my heart to see her, a wife of a Navy Korean War Veteran, missing her husband, and in the final years of her life. these should be the golden years.  

I told her to give me her phone number and I put it in my cell phone contacts.  I assured her that from now on I would check on her daily, and gave her my phone number in return.

When I got home I told my wife who agreed I should check on her daily.  The incident made me think hard about my marriage and wife.  I am a Vietnam War veteran and served with the Marine Corps in Vietnam. I served a twenty-two and a half-year career in the Corps.

I met my wife on the island of Okinawa after nine months of combat duty, and being shipped to Okinawa after being wounded for the second time. That was in January of 1972, almost forty-four years ago. 

Now two adult children and five grandchildren later, we are now also getting along in years.  My heart broke for my neighbor because it suddenly crossed my mind, what if that was my wife.  I realized at that moment, how much I love my wife.

It also crossed my mind that my friend and fellow veteran, must have felt the greatest of anguish, as he realized that he may have to leave his wife alone, without him. It also reminded me of my mother who will be eighty-seven in September 2016.

I miss my mother but I realize that she is blessed to be living with my older brother and his wife.  She is blessed not to be alone.  We lost my father a WWII era veteran in July of 2014.

When I get really down in the dumps over things like this, I sit in my room and play my Ukulele.  On this day I played a song for the love I have for my wife.  I may be an old sentimental fool finally, but I’m one who had been blessed to have been given a wonderful soul mate, and the greatest friend I could have ever hoped for.


Semper Fi! 


Until The Twelfth Of Never



Roger A. Sanchez Sr. @ Gunny’s Mail Call




To Trump or not to Trump?



To start with, I am an Independent Conservative. While I always make up my own mind, many on my Facebook account have tried to urge me to vote for their candidate.  I have been called “The problem, Un-American, Communist, etc. I can’t use my own mind to decide, others have to do it for me, “Really?”

I have stated that I will vote for the Republican nominee because while I am not a party line voter, this year for me there is no way I would vote Democrat, then honestly I never Have.

I also have to be honest and say, that I have not been to impressed with the GOP neither.  But this year I see that as Americans, we are in a fight to save what we call our Constitutional Republic. To me that is foremost what is at stake this year.

While I did not vote for President Obama, I did hope that he would have somehow done what is right for the country.  While many in his party say he has done a great job, I just don’t see it.

It’s pretty bad though when I have to stop and think, that I will hope, that Donald Trump will turn our country around, and as he says, “Make America Great Again.” Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Trump, I just don’t see him as Presidential right now.  I hope he proves me wrong and walks the walk as President if so elected.

What I have seen in the last seven years from both parties is this: “My Way or No Way!” it has in my opinion been all party politics, and not what is best for the country and the American people.

Political correctness is a term that also in the last seven years has become a household word in America.  It is also a term that in my opinion, is killing the American dream and Indology that has kept America what it once was,”Great!“.

Okay, so there is no doubt that no matter what common sense Americans say they are observing, Our observations will be touted as wrong. And I say, where there is no compromise, there is no hope of progress. For all those who say that because their candidate is not the nominee, they will not vote, I say, “Congratulations President Clinton!

But it is my opinion.  That is still allowed in America, isn’t it?  So will we stand together for the Republican Vote as an alternative to Hillary Clinton, or continue with what we have now?


Roger A. Sanchez Sr. @ Gunny’s Mail Call.Com 


Brothers In Nam

001 (8)

Roger & Victor Sanchez, Chicago 1964


Fate or destiny, are words I think about often today, some forty-three years after my older brother and I, had left the Vietnam War behind.  My brother and I are exactly four years apart because we were born on the same day, four years apart.  He lives in Illinois and I in Oklahoma.   One thing I can say for sure, is that destiny sure kicked us around a lot.

My older brother was born in San Antonio Texas, and I in Waupun Wisconsin.  Our parents also hailed from San Antonio.  But when my brother and I were ages six and two, we ended up on the south side of Chicago.  There we would live our lives until the Vietnam War Broke out.

In our early years my brother and I being four years apart, had nothing in common.  Growing up he had his likes and friends, and I was the pesky little brother who was told to take a hike more than once.  We would go our separate ways, until fate stepped in and changed our lives forever.  We had no Idea that the Vietnam War would last long enough to see us both join the Marines, and be pulled into the war. It would be a war that would have a significant impact on American history.  It would be a war that split a nation, as did the Civil War.  Of course the Vietnam War split us only in ideology.

The war would bring my brother and me together in more ways than we could imagine.  My older brother was on his second tour of duty, when I landed in Vietnam in July of 1970 for my tour.  Again, fate stepped in, and my brother and I ran into each other at Da Nang Air Base, just before I was trucked out to my unit with Seventh Marines.   I was an infantry Marine, and my brother a Crew Chief in CH-46 helicopters.


Sgt V. Sanchez Jr. & Cpl R. Sanchez, Da Nang Air Base Vietnam, July 1870

Sgt V. Sanchez Jr. & Cpl R. Sanchez, Da Nang Air Base Vietnam, July 1970


I would see my brother twice with my unit in the field, as both those times it was his chopper that was re-supplying us.   Both times I signaled the chopper into the Landing zone, as my brother looked out the gunner’s door and spotted me.  As I ran onto the bird to unload supplies, we had a few minutes for a quick hug and a thumb’s up.  As the chopper lifted off, my brother stuck his head out the gunner’s door again and saluted, as I stood in the rotor wash in the LZ and returned his salute.  Both times I was asked, “Who was that”, and both times I replied with great pride, “That was my brother!”


Sgt V. Sanchez Jr USMC HMM 262, Vietnam, 1970


Cpl R. Sanchez USMC Vietnam 1970

Cpl R. Sanchez USMC
Vietnam 1970


My brother and I would make it out of Vietnam.  He after being shot down multiple times, and I, after being wounded in action twice.  We both ended up In Okinawa for a few months together before he rotated back to the States.  Our relationship from that point on again, had changed forever.  We were now not only brothers, but fellow Marines, and fellow combat veterans of the Vietnam War.  We would go our separate ways after the war, and not discuss the war with each other for over forty years.  But our respect towards each other was that of two fellow Marines, who had fought in a war that American history would rather bury than speak of.  It was a long and arduous road, and yet fate had seen us through.


Sgt. V. Sanchez Jr. USMC Okinawa, April 1970

Sgt. V. Sanchez Jr. USMC
Okinawa, April 1971


Cpl R. Sanchez USMC Okinawa April 1970

Cpl R. Sanchez USMC
Okinawa April 1971



 Roger A. Sanchez Sr. @ Gunny’s Mail Call.Com

A Warriors’ Dream


Quang Nam Province, I Corps, South Vietnam, July 1970


In deep slumber I lay many years after my war

An American Patriot who answered the call

My war was not the one fought for independence

Nor the one fought at San Antonio

Yes, it was not the one to end all wars

Nor was it the big one where freedom hung by a thread


I was not at the Chosen Reservoir in Korea

So many had gone before me to stand for freedom

But not any freedom, but American freedom

It is an Ideal and type that many seek

Is was an ideal born of right spirit

The land of the free, the home of the brave


In dreams I still walk the rice paddies of Vietnam

My squad walks behind me spread out and watchful

I do not see them as clear as I once did

We are walking in a fog that sweeps in from nowhere

It is cold and wet and voices seems to emanate from it

It is the voices of those gone before looking for the sunlight


And yet from this dream I understood that freedom is not free

There is no true sunlight in war, or full days of rest

There is no let up against evil that lust for power and domination

A horrible truth I had learned at such a young age

That evil force, must be met with righteous force

While I wish with all my soul for only peace

I understood that it would never truly be


I wake up in a cold sweat and yell out into the darkness

My conscious mind slowly brings me back

And I think clearly, Iraq, Afghanistan, other wars in between

I see the faces of our young men and women

And in sadness I realize, we are still at war


GySgt Roger A Sanchez Sr.
USMC Retired
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