Thurman P. Woodfork


More and more old friends seem to be finding me as the internet expands; and it’s a good thing, I guess, except for one revelation. They keep speaking of things of which I have absolutely no recollection. Apparently, I was stationed with them in the time frame that they speak of, and must have been somewhere in the area when this stuff happened, but the events are washed from my memory as if they never were. Gone like the moisture from a quick summer shower that fell on arid ground after a drought.

A guy I was stationed with in Montana spoke of a fire that took place in the trailer park section of the housing area while I was there. The entire Squadron fell out to fight it; total blank for me, although I remember the trailer park well enough. Maybe I was on duty at the time the fire occurred, but nevertheless, I should remember the event. I mean, when you’re isolated out in the middle of nowhere, little things like housing units burning down should stick in your memory, if for no other reason than they broke the monotony.

However, I’ve discovered that those cobwebs don’t just hang out in my mind. I’m not the only one afflicted with CRS. One fellow didn’t remember being mortared and rocketed repeatedly in Tay Ninh West until I reminded him. He recalled attacks while we were on Trang Sup, a few miles outside of Tay Ninh, but not the attacks in Tay Ninh until I brought them up.

It’s a good thing I did, since he was trying to get compensation for PTSD symptoms from the VA and was looking for someone to verify that he had been under hostile fire while in the Nam. Amazing that he would forget events that had lasted several days, the very events that would help bolster his claim. Maybe he was on one of the first flights out, and what happened is more vivid in my memory because the Captain and I were the last to leave.

I suppose it’s inevitable that memory falters as the frost gathers on our pumpkin heads in the autumn of our years. Trouble is, I keep wondering how much juicy stuff has slipped into the sub-basement of my consciousness over the years. What delicious, titillating adventures am I forgetting to drag out and savor anew? In view of some of the things I do remember, I could definitely be missing out. Especially those times in Bangkok and Barcelona…