Finding the Words

| November 28, 2012

My pal, and a commenter here, OWB, captured a thing that has eluded me.

There are people who come into our lives who quietly have a positive impact upon us.  If we are lucky, we realize it before it is too late to thank them.

Such a person was Sharon.  While not a veteran herself, she became something of a mama bear to many of us.  She married a veteran, a buddy of mine, and for her unfailing support of him I am extremely grateful.  But beyond that, she was herself a great patriot.  I have no doubt that without her troupe of veterans she would still have contributed to the strength of this country in many positive ways.  She did just that and still supported the veteran community.

We lost our mama bear Sharon this week.  Suddenly.  She was there one moment and gone the next.  It’s not something for which any of us was prepared.

One thing that OWB left out is that Sharon stood with us during GoE and her husband was one of the prime movers.  Like most of us involved she was determined that younger vets didn’t get the welcome we did.


A coupla weeks ago a Marine ‘Nam vet passed away. He had been a friend here for years.

Getting reminded of one’s mortality isn’t really my point, although that hints at it.

Although we’ve watched the WWI generation depart, and noted the passing of those vets who survived WWII and the Korean War we ‘Nam vets are now of THAT generation.

Please forgive the rambling. Although it is a VERY trivial thing compared to the loss suffered by the families involved it is an eye opener. and just maybe worthy of some small note here.

Category: Geezer Alert!

Comments (14)

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  1. DaveO says:

    My condolences to Sharon’s family, and her family of friends.

  2. harp1034 says:

    There is only about 1/3 of the Nam vets left. We are dying off faster that the general population. Agent Orange??

  3. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    “If we are lucky, we realize it before it is too late to thank them.” Ah, there’s the nugget. I prefer to see it much less as luck and much more as gratitude in action. The day does come when those we love and respect are with us no more either because they cross over or we do. So, now is the time. OWB’s reminder, while prompted by a sad event for her, is a timely and welcome one. Thank you for what you have done and thank you for the message.

  4. OWB says:

    Thanks, AC. I tend to agree that it really is just a decision we make to acknowledge our gratitude to others or not. (If you haven’t already, click the link in the first line for the complete bit.)

    I also knew Zero’s Marine friend and understand the depth of his loss there. We have indeed gotten to the age where the rate of our losses are escalating.

    Time to cultivate younger friends!

  5. OWB says:

    The rate “IS” escalating. Duh!

  6. Rurik says:

    harp103, I think a factor in the escalating disappearance of the 2.9 million real Viet Nam Vets (not counting the 14 million wannabes)is the fact that a sizeable fraction of us, particularly at the early end, were also WW II and Korea Vets. They would be expectedly be dying off now.
    I think another major influence on Viet Vet mortality has been the stressor effects of prolonged negative homecoming experiences, further exaccerbated by more recent stress of the collapse of what many perceive as the Country and culture we fought for. If I am correct about this stress effect, it bodes ill for our current crop of vets who are reported showing elevated rates of suicide. We vets are the New Mohicans.

  7. Joe Williams says:

    Cancer and heart problems are the Two main illness that are listed in Popasmoke site for return to base. We Nam Vets seemed to to have made it past the sucide stage. #6,Rurik, I think you have made an excellent point about the stress. Joe

  8. streetsweeper says:

    OWB & Zero, you and the families have my condolences. I suspect I know whom you are talking about too but my memory is a bit foggy. Hey, Rurick! Long time, my friend! How have you been? I was wondering about you the other day…Hooah.

  9. OWB says:

    Yes, street, you know them. Without permission to publish names or other personal details, using Sharon’s first name is all I am comfortable doing.

  10. USMCE8Ret says:

    “Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”
    – Aeschylus

  11. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    USMC–good quote there are several from Aeschylus that I like. Here’s an old Latin quote I have found useful from time to time…

    “Let no one weep for me, or celebrate my funeral with mourning; for I still live, as I pass to and fro through the mouths of men.”

    My condolences to the family and friends, Sharon does indeed sound like a powerful presence. The impact of friends like these live on long after the friend is gone.

    I am sorry for your friend, and for the loss Zero.

  12. USMCE8Ret says:

    @11 – That’s a great one. I’ve often had to remind folks that, after the loss of my mother 6 years ago, that she is still with us in the way that your shared quote mentions. It makes it all a little easier.

    My sincere condolences to OWB & Zero, their families, and loved ones.

  13. streetsweeper says:

    Okay. OWB & Zero. *bingo*! I remember and figured it out! Holy bat crap, it hit me like a ton of bricks. For Ms. Sharon “Mama Bear”. I’m speechless right now, don’t no what to say except I am very sorry. Mr. “Bear” knows how to contact me if he needs the cav, so this will have to do for now. Let me know if the link does not work. Garryowen!

  14. Bulldog22 says:

    We are truly sorry for your loss. Sharon was an outstanding lady and we were blessed to have known her. The world was a better place because of her and she will be missed.
    If you need anything at all, you know where I am.