The day arrived when our brother Johnny had to report for duty in South Viet Nam.Pleiku to be exact.
Ma, me, Arnie, & Xavier went with Johnny to the local airport, Miller Int.
At the time,1968, Miller airport had one airline.It was named Trans-Texas air.
The planes they used were propeller type.Two giant propellers,two engines, one on each side.
The scheduled time for departure came.We said our goodbyes, not realizing the very dangerous situation, Ma’s son,our brother,was going into.
Johnny grabs his duffle bag, & leaves to board the plane.He left his duffle bag & deplanes,to spend more time with us,while the rest of the passengers were boarding.
Johnny says goodbye again,& boards the plane the second time.
It might have been a case of nervousness, Johnny exits the plane once more.
The pilot somewhat understood.The hour of departure was there. Johnny delayed the plane to the limit,the pilot began to rev up the engines,slides the small window, & beckons, waving to Johnny to come on board.
One of the stewards comes off & pleads with Johnny to come on board or be left behind. By that time, all of us were in tears, flowing like water from the Rio Grande river.
Johnny finally boarded the plane, crying also.
We did not know whether we would ever see our loved family member again.
It was a cold,wet,rainy day that morning.
As the plane began to taxi to the runway, its big engines roaring, in the middle of our crying & biting our lip,as it turned, the draft from the propellers sprayed us with a mist of cold rain.
Our family waited for the plane to come speeding down the runway.
As it gained momentum & thrust, we saw Johnny sitting by the window waving goodbye.
We cried all the way home.