30 May 2011
"He's Coming Home" May 1967
I can't remember who delivered the green foot locker but it sat on the living room floor with white stenciled lettering, postage and the news, "He's coming home." And not as a captain but as a major. The good news, much like bad news then, seemed to come in packs of three or four.
The locker was his advance and filled with what he didn't or couldn't travel with. My mother lifted the lid open and Julie London and her black turtleneck stared back at us. I remember she was nestled in a camouflage cargo parachute and the earthy smell of Vietnam filled our living room.
The cargo parachute later hung from the ceiling of my army barracks and college dorm room where it gave everything and everybody beneath it a strange green cast. I lost the parachute but still have the reel to reel tape of Julie and thank my father for introducing me to her. Like so many things -- then and today -- I had no idea how lucky we were.