I’ve Never Been to Heaven

(But I’ve Been To Oklahoma)

The USS Repose and Vietnam are now 55 years in the rearview mirror, but it seems to be a previous lifetime. Before reading this book, I invite the reader to, just for the time being, displace the movies you have seen relative to the war. No movie can display the true emotions of the experience and lifetime of reliving any war. Only those who have experienced it can tell the real experiences they endured.

This is my story. It is not the same story that any other individual can tell, any more than I can tell anyone else’s story. Every veteran came back with different memories—or, in some cases, almost no memories at all. Some of our brains repressed those events, not wanting to remember or relive the horrid details of certain experiences. You are about to delve into a story that cannot be told once I leave this world for a place where there will be no memories of Vietnam and no tears will be shed, ever again.