We Don’t Have Any Problems
I just read about two veterans of the Vietnam War, Maj. Robert Leon Tucci and Col. James Eugene Dennany, who were shot down in combat over Laos in 1969. They were declared Missing In Action, and their bodies weren’t recovered during the war. Their remains have just recently been identified, and are just now being flown home for burial. I can’t begin to imagine the anguish that their family members endured over the years, wondered what happened to them. Maj. Tucci’s father, Leon J. Tucci, died in 2009, and his last words were, “I’m just sorry that I won’t find out about Robert.” Mr. Tucci probably spent his first forty years with normal issues like the rest of us, and then the last forty wondering about his son.
I knew another man with a similar story. In 1967, Captain James Paul Gauley was shot down over Laos, and his body was never recovered. In 1992, I spoke to his father, Bill Gauley, shortly before his death. He told me that he still believed that his son was still alive somewhere, probably being held as a prisoner of war. Bill had suffered every day throughout those 25 years, wondering what his son might be going through.
This makes my troubles seem small. As my wife sometimes tells me, when we discuss such tragic circumstances of others, “We don’t have any problems.”