Dale Edge never talks about war, but always wants to know what happened to the injured veterinarian who helped save that terrible day in Vietnam
Ashland, Illinois-There has never been an easy route to important places.
On this day, the two men are moving in a new direction.
The destination was Ashland, Illinois, an agricultural community about 120 miles and decibels from St. Louis.
“I have always liked agriculture because you are your own boss,” said Dale Edge.
Edge lives and works on 400 acres of land. He has been farming on this land for almost his entire life, except for the time he used his work boots for military boots.
That year was 1968, and Dale Edge was selected to go to Vietnam to fight for his country.
“I know I have a high probability of being selected. I am not planning to be a volunteer, but I am not planning to run for the election,” he said.
But the Vietnam War was like a wound that could never heal. The soldiers faced the enemy bravely, but as soon as the plane landed, they returned home and were scorned.
“Someone kissed the ground, very happy to come back, very happy to succeed,” he said. “Then, 30 feet from where they did this, the people behind the fence started screaming and yelling. I won’t repeat it.”
This is why Edge buried his feelings and his story. Except for one.
A story that needs an ending.
Recently, after getting his first smartphone, he finally decided to solve the mystery by checking it online. Then he plucked up the courage to make a phone call.
“I said,’Dale, I have to be honest, I don’t know who you are.’ He said,’It’s been 53 years, so I can understand this.'”
Kjorlien lives in Minnesota and works at Great Steps, a company that makes prosthetics and orthotics. And he is very popular with customers.
“They like amputees because you can feel something,” he said. “Some people think,’Oh, you have one, then I’ll be fine.'”
Kjorlien lost a leg in a crossfire in Vietnam.
“I’m hiding behind a fallen tree, this leg is up, I’m shooting,” he said. “Then an RPG hit the side of the tree.”
Edge remembered the attack.
“Before the medical staff arrived, I put a tourniquet on Fred’s leg,” he told us.
Then he remembered to keep Fred calm and help him in the medical evacuation helicopter.
“He said,’I’m going to beat you home,'” Edgie recalled. “I said,’I will never forget that Fred.’ And I didn’t.”
They are in the same row, but they didn’t know each other before that day. Nevertheless, Dale Edge has been thinking about it for more than half a century.
“I don’t know if he is still alive. I want to know if he succeeded,” Edge said.
Thanks to a phone call, his sense of emptiness was suddenly filled.
Then his heart was filled, when Fred drove more than 560 miles to attend a 50-year reunion.
When the two started talking, the long time and distance seemed so small. They will dig out memories on weekends.
“If you want to know the truth, this is a response to prayer,” Edge said. “I don’t know how many times I prayed for that man.”
With old friends, it is always easier to remember the hard days.
Since they returned from Vietnam, these two veterans finally ushered in a welcome home.
“This is important because I love him,” Kjorlien said with tears.
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