Friday, May 25, 2007

Memorial Day Pt . 2

Hopefully you read part 1

The Bracelet Part 2 - Some Response(s) including family.

So after I posted that little web entry I didn't think much of it. Meaning, I didn't go back and edit or what have you.

Then one day...I got an email, that lead to a few. Here are the e-mails, (names edited per the request)

The first was from JL in June of 2005.

Today I came across your article on The Bracelet, and I am now writing this as.......... I really don't know, except to say that Elbert Bush, my sarge, was an exceptional person. I knew him while I was in college so many years ago. He was one of my ROTC instructors, and a very good friend. Elbert was at my commissioning in August, 1970, and received my first "official" salute, thereby obtaining the engraved silver dollar to go with it. We later parted, and as I went to training and on to West Germany, he returned to Vietnam. I learned several years later of his MIA status. This hoping and wondering continued until April of 2000, when I by chance went to the Virtual Wall website and found that he had at last returned home. Anyway, I wanted to thank you for The Bracelet, it moved me tremendously.

Of course I responded quickly

Hi JL.
As noted in my "story" it all seemed somewhat "cool" at first to just have the bracelet. Now with all the "Livestrong" colored bracelets I have gotten a few more people asking me "what it means". Its always an interesting story to share with folks and even getting people to look at sites like the and make donations to get bracelets. I was born in 1970 so the war is nothing but print and pictures to me but just wearing the bracelet has made me realize what an amazing sacrifice these people (and you) have put forward on our behalf. Now as the father of 2 small children and living the "American Dream" you and all other soldiers I could never thank enough. I am glad I was able to give you a smile and perhaps a feeling that even the "common" man cares..and really would like to say thank you.

Warmest Personal regards,


From JL a few days later.

Todd, glad you responded. Yes you can use my commdnts, but please not publish the e-mail address. Again, thank you for your article. I lost several good friends in Nam, one a high school buddy who was killed with the 101 Airborne less than a month in country, JW. I sometimes have a little guilt that I did not serve in Nam, but it wasn't meant to be. Anyway, thanks again for your dedication to the memory of these warriors. PS- if you are a reader, you might want to read Rick Akinson's Long Gray Line sometime. Really hits home.

After a few days I got this:

Todd, I finally broke down and wrote to D, and got this response. Thought I'd pass it on. Hope this finds you ok. I'm winding down my last year here with the State of Arkansas, and planning on becoming a full time trout bum by this time next year. Have a goodun'!

From: SM
Sent: Tuesday, October 04, 2005 9:13 PM
To: JL
Subject: Re: Elbert- my Sarge

Thank you for writing this message. I was a very small child when my father was at ASU....I have a couple of memories of the Jonesboro area. My father's birthday is a week from this coming Thursday, October 13th. My mother and I are planning a trip down to Arlington to place some flowers at his gravesite. Thank you very much for writing and saying such great things about my father, your thoughts and prayers mean so much to me and my family.


This was the note that was responded to above

Don't know if you'll get this, and I have been a long time deciding on sending this... I knew your father whiel I was at ASU in Jonesboro, ar, ert was one of my ROTC instructors, and I considered him a very good friend, and he was possibly the most influential person I knew during the years I was there. I learned of his MIA status while I was serving in West Germany, and only learned of his return in April 2000. Anyway, I wanted to thank you for sharing him with me over the years, and I am forever saddened at the loss of this great man. God be with you and all of Sarge's family.

Area 4, Osceola

Finally in October of 2005 I got this:


I was given your email address by JL. He had emailed me about my father, Elbert W. Bush. He said you had an interesting story that I might like to hear. Please feel free to contact me at anytime.

I responded (of course quickly)

I wore one of those bracelets for a lot of years with your dads name on it. After he was found and given a proper burial I just posted my thoughts on wearing it on my web site. Here is the direct link.
(old link)
I am not sure what really to say, its odd to hear from someone so close to him. I just did something small out of respect.
I hope you enjoy the story and a few pictures.
Warmest personal regards

Finally the last response:


Great story....I have to thank you very much. One of the best friends I have on earth was introduced to me by a similar method. He had bought my father's bracelet at the Vietnam Memorial as well. He found me back in 2001 and he mailed me the bracelet, to say the least we've been super tight every since. I've even taken him down to Arlington with my family.

My father's birthday is this coming Thursday....if you have a spare moment, say a little prayer for him. I'll be heading down to Arlington to give him some flowers and it makes me feel so good that there are people out there like yourself who do care.


So that is the story of the "bracelet".

Looking back and reading this again has filled me with some sense of pride. I am not sure I'd ever be able to do what the men and women do in our military. I am glad most of all that someone was touched by such a simple act.

Take a moment this weekend to thank a Veteran.


At Monday, May 28, 2007 8:08:00 AM , Blogger B. said...

Amen. What a cool story! Yes, everyone should thank a veteran or pray for one who is overseas now. My Grandfather fought during WWII in the Army, my dad served in the Army during Vietnam (he was stationed in Germany during the war) and my sister's husband is a Marine and is serving in Iraq right now.


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