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Walls That Heal
By Bruce H Drye

I recently had the honor to volunteer at a "Wall That Heals" when it visited my neighboring town. A "Wall That Heals" is a travelling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial located on the mall in Washington. This replica was brought here by the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Fund, and was a special event because it was shown at the Veteran's Memorial Plaza in

Apalachicola, Fl. Special because Apalachicola is the only place in America where you can also see a detail of the Three Soldiers Statue also located on the mall in Washington D.C. near The Wall. See
At first I thought of myself as just a volunteer, but as the time to be there came closer, I realised that I was going to be "standing a watch". We "stand the watch" in various ways in our lives, some of us learned how to "stand the watch" on the Belle Grove. I arrived ready to "stand the watch" for the 58,000 men and women who served our country by "standing the watch" and now have their names on that wall. I helped visitors to find names on the wall, and remembered some of the watches I stood on board the Belle Grove. As a deckhand, I often stood lookout watch and enjoyed it most times. Being on the bridge, sunrises, moonrises, and the open ocean, are some of the things that made it enjoyable. But I hated the 4 to 8 watch. On that watch, I usually saw the dawn, but was sometimes on the port lookout post, near the exhaust from the mess, before 8am. As my hunger grew about that time of day, so did the delicious smells from the mess. Sometimes the delicious smell was the smell of cinnamon, from the cinnamon buns the bakers were baking. And there I was starving, now, and knowing that by the time I was off watch, the cinnamon buns would be gone. I know you others remember how good they smelled and tasted.
The buns were gone most mornings, and now I can't go by a Cinnabun shop in the airport without remembering those mornings.
And now, I'll always think about those names and those veterans who served our country, too.
If you ever want to "stand a watch" again, do it as a volunteer for our veterans.


Bruce H. Drye