Military branch / term(s) of service: United States Marine Corps
Tour(s): Viet Nam--1969 --1970
|My father with my brothers and myself|
What do your boots mean to you? Boots are your connection to the ground, and good jungle combat boots have some protective aspects (lamenated puncture proof metal in the soles), as well as preventatiave features(breathable nylon sides to help your feet dryout in the heat, and also in the monsoon season.
Do you still wear your boots? The Marines were not allowed to bring home our jungle boots, but I still have my leather state side boots. Still polished up, and in a closet. Just a reminder that I was there, and was lucky enough to come back. I don't wear them, as they are a little small for my feet now. Also, I just can't bring my self to "wear them out".
Tips or tricks for breaking in the boots: We used to get a new pair of boots, and fill them with warm water for about 10 minutes. Then wear a couple pair of dry sock, put them on for the day, and they would "dry fit" to our feet.
Suggestions / advice for getting through the tough times during RAGBRAI? Think positive with a can do attitude. When the physical stress and pain starts to appear, just think about good things and good people, and not about the physical pain. It will help you endure.
What should civilians know about how to support veterans? Many ways. community actions. Wearing part of your uniform on Veterans Day. Support the local Memorial Day programs. Also don't for get the Paralyzed Veterans Association, Wounded Warriors, and other associations that support the veterans who have returned with physical, and emotional issues from their service time. Be sure to check out your favorite vet charity for their giving records to the vets.