Never forget the ones who didn't come home.

Real Estate Agent with Pine Knoll Shores Realty 252-422-9000 NC 166249

Never forget the ones who didn't come home.


On Veteran's Day remember all the veterans of all the wars in the history of our country, living and dead.  For me, Veteran's Day is the day I always remember Tommy.  He didn't come back.



I grew up in the sixties, so Viet Nam was a pervasive part of my life.  I was developing breasts, learning to dance and do algebra, and somewhere on the other side of the world, a war was raging.

During that time I developed my first crush, experienced my first kiss and got my period.  Tommy was the recipient of my first crush, he was the first boy to hold my hand and he gave me my first kiss.


Here we are in our last yearbook. 


I was eleven years old and Tommy was twelve when I “fell in love” with him.  He was my brother’s best friend and for a long time I might as well have been invisible.  I was fifteen when Tommy gave me my first kiss.  We were both basketball players and we were on the bus going to a game one Friday night.  The boys and girls had to sit on opposite sides of the bus but Tommy always managed to sit across the aisle from me near the back of the bus.  He’d hold my hand across the aisle when the coach wasn’t looking and one night he leaned over and kissed me.  Now a war was raging inside my teen-age heart!

He was the first of my friends to be drafted and the first to die in Viet Nam.  Tommy died a hero but it didn’t change a thing.  The war in Viet Nam continued and more young people went and died and other wars just seem to keep right after the other.

You can learn all about Tommy by checking on the Viet Virtual Wall.  He was from McMinnville, Tennessee and his name was Tommy Young.


I touch his name on the wall every time I go to DC and I never pass a Veteran’s Day without thinking about Tommy.  This is the rubbing I made the first time I located his name on the wall.


Don’t ever forget.





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Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate


Thanks Marian.  As a Vet from those days, I appreciate the post and the information.


Nov 10, 2010 10:58 PM #5
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Tommy touched your heart and will remain there forever.............thank you for sharing this lovely, touching story with all of us, and for opening our hearts to Tommy and all of those who lost their lives defending our honor and country.

Nov 10, 2010 11:10 PM #6
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks for sharing your personal story. This is a good reminder to thank the families of veterans that gave their lives for our country and our freedom.

 Blooming for all veterans today!

Nov 10, 2010 11:23 PM #7
Cinnamon Wright
Wilmington Real Estate 4U 910.547.1446 - Wrightsville Beach, NC
Assistant to Tish Lloyd

Thank you for this.  My Dad did 2 tours in Vietnam, and would never talk about it.  I understand he lost a number of friends there and 1, that he grew up with and went into service with, that came home, but was never the same.  All of our service members, past and present, deserve our thanks and admiration.

Nov 11, 2010 12:13 AM #8
Paula Stadiem
Pine Knoll Shores Realty - Pine Knoll Shores, NC

What a small world that one of your AR friends knew your childhood sweetheart.  Thank you to him for his service and all of our servicemen.  God Bless America

Nov 11, 2010 02:50 AM #9
Tish Lloyd
BlueCoast Realty Corporation - Wilmington, NC
Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches

Thank you, Marian, for this loving tribute.  Our hearts are heavy and proud this day.  My husband did not lose his life until he returned from Viet Nam and suffered long with the results of Agent Orange.  He spoke very little about his two tours there, but he was a staunchly proud American.  How Blessed we were to have known these fine men.

Nov 11, 2010 03:00 AM #10
Amy Hahn
Pine Knoll Shores Realty - Morehead City, NC
Realtor/Broker - Crystal Coast, NC

Mom - I have been hearing stories about Tommy my whole life, and I remember visiting the Wall with you a number of times.  As I read Michael's comment, chills went through my body.  Michael wrote a post called, "He ain't Heavy" need to check it out.

To Michael - Thank you for your service!

Nov 11, 2010 03:07 AM #11
Paula McDonald
Magnolia Realty ~ Granbury - Granbury, TX
Magnolia Realty ~ Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

What a special story and memory for you.  We must always remember to thank our veterans today and everyday.

Nov 11, 2010 04:03 AM #12
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Hi Marian--Not only is your story touching but, seeing that another one of my favorite AR peeps was there with him just gives me goosebumps.  My, how the world keeps getting smaller.  Thank you for sharing your touching story--coming from a military family myself, I will NEVER forget those who have given themselves for the freedom of ALL Americans.

Nov 11, 2010 04:47 AM #13
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Marian, You know we won't forget in our household!  Thanks for writing this tribute to your friend, it could not have been easy.

Nov 11, 2010 06:52 AM #14
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Marian-a beautiful tribute to Thomas and knowing that Micheal is connected to your story is even more amazing.  I just came home from Arlington Cemetery and it is a beautiful day to remember all of those who have lost their lives.

Nov 11, 2010 07:49 AM #15
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

We are Never to forget anyone who gives service to or for another. When that person bets his life, I become his servant and staunch supporter even more. With all the mysteries in the world  and with so much to be grateful for, why man kills man...escapes me....Until all men feel that way, we fight to protect the American way. I am grateful.....thank you

Nov 11, 2010 07:57 AM #16
Andy Brown
Climer School of Real Estate - Arctic Bay, YN
Best Real Estate Training in Florida

Great Posting and very timely

kind of pulled at the heart strings.


Nov 11, 2010 08:15 AM #17
Kristin Mason
New Market Title Agency - Independence, OH

Always remember and what a lovely tribute!  As long as they are in our thoughts and hearts their scarifice will NEVER be forgotten!!!!!  God Bless All our soldiers, past, present and future!!!!!


Proud Army MOM



Nov 11, 2010 09:09 AM #18
Marian Goetzinger
Pine Knoll Shores Realty 252-422-9000 - Pine Knoll Shores, NC
Crystal Coast Real Estate NC

Thanks to all who commented.  We have been driving all day and I couldn't comment individually.  Thank God we no longer treat vets with anything other than respect and admiration.  Again.  God bless America.

Nov 11, 2010 09:45 AM #19
Craig Rutman
Helping people in transition - Cary, NC
Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor

The connection that I've read about between you and Tommy...and Michael as well is truly one that touched my heart. And, although I've not met any of you, I know why you're all so special to me. I will think of Tommy and you and Michael the next time I go to "The Wall" in DC.

Nov 11, 2010 09:57 AM #20
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Marian, My favorite cousin left a huge impact on me as a young child and then he left for Vietnam and didn't come back. I remember the sadness of loss in my family and I still carry that today for him. As long as I remember, he is remembered. Thank you for sharing your story, it is appreciated and my heart is touched as well.

Nov 11, 2010 10:33 AM #21
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

My son came back; his best friend did not.  War leaves a hole in many hearts.

Nov 11, 2010 10:45 AM #22
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Marian.... that had to be one of the most touching stories that I have ever read... and I can't see right now... thanks for sharing this.. I feel somewhat guilty now... I didn't practice what I preached in my post today... the day got away from me and this is just another reminder... thanks and thanks for sharing and walking me down memory road that made me feel a part of this...

jeff belonger


Nov 11, 2010 12:19 PM #23
Gay E. Rosen
Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty - Larchmont, NY
As Real as Real Estate Gets!

Hi Marian: great posting.... It made me tear up! I love yuor photos also.... G-d Bless. Gay

Nov 12, 2010 06:55 AM #24
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Marian Goetzinger

Crystal Coast Real Estate NC
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