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July 4th has taken on a whole new meaning for me as it reminds me of the loss of a friend, James Olinger. This page is a  tearful reminder to all of us who lost friends in that far away place called Vietnam. Let America not forget the men who gave their all for this country.

             Letter to Jim  

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Lt. Waterbury wrote of his visit to the Hospital.
My first trip to the ward for the most severely injured was to visit SGT Olinger. Both of his legs had been blown off by a booby trap a few days earlier. After some checking I found Olinger's ward and entered the Quonset hut through the front door. I noticed several doctors around one of the patients as I entered, but I didn't know it was SGT Olinger they were working on. I walked to the desk located in the middle of the ward and waited for someone to help me. When the nurse returned to the desk, I asked to see SGT Olinger. She looked at me with a glassy stare, hesitated, and then said, "He just died". I walked over to his bed and put my hand on his shoulder. A moment later I saluted him and exited the Quonset while I was still in control of my emotions. 

 

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Last modified: May 16, 2006