After completing the War College Year at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, I had my orders to Vietnam. So we moved back to our house in Annandale Virginia which we had rented, Patsy and the kids moved in as I shipped out for a year at war in Vietnam.

                 1967-68  Annandale Year without Dad

Neighborhood gardening

According to Rebecca

'Uncle' Paul and 'Aunt' Ruthie Gorman lived just two houses up from us. During the year Dad was in Vietnam, they became our other family. In fact, for years I thought we were related!

It looks like someone decided the front pfizer bush had grown too big and was obstructing the street when backing out of the driveway at our house.

So Uncle Paul, with a little help from all the kids, made a valiant effort to yank it out.

Uncle Paul is supervising; David, Timmy Gorman(standing back to camera) Edward(in the hole in a checkered shirt), Becky(bottoms up), Sarah(leaping across) and John Gorman(in football jersey).

 

 

 

In the end only Uncle Paul and David were left to finish the job."

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 1967

Experiment #2

When Dad left for Vietnam, somebody (who would that be?) thought it would be an excellent lesson in responsibility to get another puppy and kitten.

This time, my kitten was spayed asap and so we didn't get the multiple litter of kittens within the year. I was bummed about that.

Rebecca asks: "Now what makes this photo interesting is that the cast and foot to the right of the ottoman is David's. He can tell the story about how he got that way.

All I know is that I 'helped' keep him in a cast for much longer than he expected.

Care to tell that story,  David?"

David's version " I remember the event.  I just don't remember the particulars but now that you describe it, a trashcan?    What I do remember is wearing out casts and yes, mom spending way too much time at the emergency.  I do remember clearly I got lectured by a doctor to stop wearing the casts out.  I also remember the pain of a broken bone is not as bad as a severe sprain."
 

 

Christmas Without Dad

 

Rebecca remembers:

"Christmas Dinner with Grandfather Simpson (Grandmother had passed away in Georgia the previous March).

Notice the fine china (Columbine Pattern) and glassware, all from Aunt Arleen.

We were eating on a table base from the West Point Hospital that mom had painted in the colors of the day. Copper streaks over white!"

 

A happy 4 year old at Christmas

 

Big 1967 Snow And sledding behind our house

Rebecca: I remember snow in Virginia as being LEGENDARY!  This was one of those days.

 We had a super duper sledding hill that began at the top of the Allen's driveway and winded its way through the trees all the way down to the creek. This became the big thing to do in the neighborhood.

I remember David building banks of snow to make the curves a lot faster.

I don't know why I never got hurt because it was fast and icy! I think I made it to the creek once without crashing."

Meanwhile Patsy and I were exchanging mail almost daily - she took pains to keep the children away from television and its reporting on the violent Vietnam War, and they barely knew anything except Daddy was there.

Meanwhile I was mailing her detailed accounts of  what was going on in combar action. (If you read under Military Years the Vietnam War ones you will see just how many letters were exchanged between us). Once in a while I wrote directly to the kids - David and Rebecca - as enclosures to my letters to Patsy.

Patsy succeeded in shielding the children from the worst of the war - so well that even now 50 years later, they do not remember much about Vietnam or my fighting in it through over 70 heliborne assaults in 5 months.