A Very Special Honor

Real Estate Agent with DFW FINE PROPERTIES 0506509

Today is National Viet Nam Honor Day. I honor my spouse who served in Viet Nam who died nearly 36 years ago, leaving me a widow and our two children. We met on my 16th birthday when he was on a 30 day leave from Korea. From there he went to Hunter Army Airforce Base in Savanna, GA, to Germany, to Viet Nam. When he was discharged, we got married. I just passed my 19th birthday by 2 months.

Hunter AFB was assigned to the Strategic Air Command's (SAC) Second Air Force. That is where he sent me my first letter and I began writing him faithfully. My parents were strict and I didn't date but was allowed to write him letters. When he was sent to Germany is when I began writing aerograms. I can still remember the thin one page blue sheet that folded and felt like soft cloth. APO, his SS Number and Name is what I remember. Oh, and I sprayed them with Avon Lavender Cologne. 

What I remember most about my high school years while he was serving our country was watching the body bag count on the news daily. I prayed continuously. Each time an aerogram was sent to me, I pressed it to my chest and felt his presence in my heart. 

He wrote about his watch duty and what it was like in the jungle. He used words I didn't understand, and I wrote back about the positive things going on in my life, such as:

  • I baked a cake. I will send you some!
  • School is fun. I am off for school break. 
  • I learned how to type 120 WPM - Teacher was so proud of me!
  • My dad bought a boat! I can't wait to get on the lake!

He wrote back telling me what it was like to be in a jungle and how he ached for a hug. Most of his letters told me to stay in school and how important is to never  stop learning. Joining the Army at 17 was his biggest regret. 

Two months before our first child was born he received his DD Form 214. Two and a half years later we had a son. Life was not easy. It was very difficult for him to get meaningful work or any job. Our sacrifices continued throughout his life. But he was proud he served, and he made me proud too. He wrote my name on the side of his Bell Helicopter. One day he told me, I only survived because of you. Vicariously, I lived through all his battles including cancer of the skin, lungs, and finally the brain. We were told he only had 24 hours or less to live.

But I have my memories. He lives inside my heart. My children are a reminder of the love we had. He actually lived for three and a half months after we got our affairs in order and had time for closure. 10 days before he died we renewed our marriage vows in the hospital. The nurses were there. They were angels. 


He finally got the honors he deserved at his funeral with the 9-gun shot salute. The entire Community where we lived in a small town gathered to pay their respects. He died without a life insurance policy. Because of pre-existing conditions, he wasn't entitled. Agent Orange was unknown. We had a small savings account. What money I saved had to pay for medical bills. The home we bought was through a VA Loan. I did not qualify because I was a stay-at-home mom. I worked after he died and paid the mortgage faithfully until I sold the property and moved to Texas. My children did well in school. She received a few scholarships but no free lunch when it came to paying tuition. We all furthered our education. But when it came to paying for tuition, we were denied because I had a house. But I had a mortgage and didn't qualify at the time he bought it. It didn't matter. I had a house. We were denied.

When life throws you curveballs, don't duck. Lead and learn respectfully and don't ask for handouts That is how I got through it all. I had no choice but to get re-wired, re-energized, and get results. I do still Pledge Allegiance to the Flag, and I am grateful for all who served in Viet Nam.





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 dfw fine properties



                                        3575 Lone Star Circle, Suite 315
                                        Fort Worth, TX 76117
                                        Office: 817-748-4800/FAX: 817--748-4900

                                         Patricia (Peace without Panic) Feager (Faith without Fear)
                                                        Cell: 469-951-4758

                                                        Email: patricia.feager@gmail.com


MBA (University of Dallas)
(Bachelors of Arts & Science)
Paralegal (Southeastern Career Institute)
Associates (3) (College of Lake County)
KU (University of Kansas)


CRS (Certified Residential Specialist)
SRES (Certified Senior Residential Specialist)
PSA (Certified Pricing Strategies; Mastering the CMA)
CRS (Certified Military Relocation Specialist)
RENE (Real Estte Negotitions Expert)

"With self-discipline most anything is possible." --- Theodore Roosevelt 





Comments (14)

Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom

Thank you for sharing this incredible story of faith and patriotism.  My husband who also served in Vietnam is working to secure disability due to Agent Orange. He was told when he left Vietnam to make a claim then or never make a claim.  How said our Veterans especially those who served in Vietnam have been treated. It breaks my heart when the current and past administrations bend over backwards for illegals and our active military and military veterans have to beg , borrow for any compensation.

Mar 29, 2023 07:35 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Patricia - thank you for sharing your story some of which I recall learning over the years of following you on AR.    It has been said "War is Hell' but it certainly isn't "a piece of cake" for those left at home.  Returning veterans have faced all kinds of battles.  It is sad.  

Mar 29, 2023 08:23 AM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Good Morning Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP 

Thank you for sharing this piece of your life and thank you for your remembrance of National Vietnam Veteran's Day. I don't think I knew he was a chopper pilot. These pilots were a brave bunch. Hooah!

Mar 29, 2023 08:43 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP

Doug Dawes - I remember not hearing from him for a long time in the month of May 1970. His birthday was in May and I kept sending aerograms and did not hear from him for a long time. When I got his letter, he wrote about a mission he was on and many were killed.He had shrapnel wounds and broken ribs but he sounded tough and said he was glad to be  flying again.

Mar 29, 2023 09:05 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Patricia, for sharing this story.

Treasure your fond memories. He would be very proud of you.

Mar 29, 2023 10:36 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Wow, there is so much packed into this history of your relationship, and his service to our country. It is a shame so many were forgotten who had served and their survivors were also ignored. But your strength is a testimony to your faith, your love and the resilience and bravery he exhibited and taught you. Thank you for sharing something so personal on what must be a hard day for so many including yourself.

Mar 29, 2023 11:57 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi Patricia... I already knew much of your "story," but your post had me in tears nonetheless... the Viet Nam war was the war of my generation and I still remember how awful it was and how many young men we lost it would seem senselessly. And I didn't even "live it" the way you did. You and your husband are both heroes in my eyes.

Mar 29, 2023 12:06 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Patricia I was on one of the Aircraft Carriers (USS Ranger CVA61) in December of 1972 when we were dropping bombs 24/7

Mar 29, 2023 12:50 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP

George Souto - thankfully, you survived. Your family is lucky to have you. 

Mar 30, 2023 06:25 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

What a powerful story, Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP.  Your husband was lucky to have you and so unlucky to pass away far too soon.  You are an inspiration.

Mar 29, 2023 06:31 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP  wow what a sad and hard read, your husband was right, the letters kept many soldiers alive.... it gave us hope. When mail call came we were all smiling and felt good... as to agent Orange and the nasty things our Government did to those at the time and now it has not changed.... politicians will rot in hell, Endre

Mar 29, 2023 09:46 PM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I can't even imagine having to worry about a loved one that is off fighting in a war, my heart goes out to all those that had to do so or are having to do so.

Mar 30, 2023 06:43 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Pat - I am so sorry to read this - agent orange was a dreadful thing.  I can kind of empathize with what you went through with your husband in Viet Nam.  Every day was a challenge when my son was in Iraq for the invasion - I used to say it was a good day if I woke up and there wasn't a black car in my driveway  (my husband kept telling me they weren't black cars but green).  Even in this war the soldiers and Marines have had to deal with the after effects of the burn pits.   The medical effects live on.  Again - I am so sorry but I really appreciated your sharing.  I send you long distance hugs.  

Mar 30, 2023 10:06 AM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

I'm also very impressed with your story.  You've been through a lot and still have such a positive attitude, and that makes a big difference.  It's a cool picture of the chopper with your name on it!

Mar 30, 2023 05:46 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Good morning Patricia. I already knew much of this, but I still teared up reading it again. You are an incredibly strong woman.

Mar 31, 2023 05:02 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Such a touching and powerful story. Blessings to you all as you remember him.

Apr 02, 2023 06:20 PM