How Was Your Summer Vacation 2

A few years back, I was awarded an all-expense paid tropical vacation.

This wasn’t your typical five-day/four-night vacation. This getaway lasted 365 days. And when I say it was all-inclusive, I mean it.

No sir. This wasn’t your typical tropical vacation. There was no laying on the beach drinking Mai Tais and piña coladas.

How Was Your Summer Vacation 3

On this vacation common amenities such as hot showers and clean clothes were a luxury. The food was incredible. Well, I mean, we ate C-rations from a can. But when it’s all you’ve got, it tastes like a five-star gourmet meal.

Nearly every night of our tropical holiday, a chopper would drop off a mail bag filled with notes from home. We’d sit down for our hot meal to devour both our food and our letters.

Okay, by now, you’ve deciphered that our trip to the tropics wasn’t a vacation at all.

How Was Your Summer Vacation 4

But, in all seriousness, my tour of duty in Vietnam was rewarding. I was honored to serve alongside some of the finest soldiers I’ve ever known.

Honestly, my only regret is that I wasn’t able to stay longer... so that I could’ve been there when my guys needed me. Patricia and I were honeymooning when I got word that five of our guys were killed in battle. Several others, including my captain, were wounded as well. I’ll never forget them.

This kind of tropical vacation may not be for everyone. But I learned a great deal during that year of service. And I have the utmost admiration for our soldiers who continue to serve.

How Was Your Summer Vacation 6

If you enjoyed a vacation this summer, I’m happy for you. Just know, somewhere out there in this big ol’ world, a soldier is laying his or her life on the line so that we can enjoy some rest and relaxation.

Be well. Stay well. Thanks for readin’...

Francis Pass

P.S. – Did you know that approximately 56 individual pieces of luggage go missing every 60 seconds? So you better pack those C-rations in your carry-on.