I read the list of names in Doug Sack’s Nov. 11 article on Canadians in Vietnam. My heart skipped a beat when I knew what I was looking for, my friend, Frank Delmark.
This was the mid ‘60s and Frank had a couple of years of university under his belt. I grew up in Lethbridge, Alberta and got my first part-time job in a local theatre where I met Frank. We were young. I was around 18 and he was a bit older. He was a bubbly guy and also volunteered at the YMCA.
I suppose he wanted a bit more adventure than the usual summer job, so he decided to go from Alberta to Alaska and see what he could find. Unfortunately, for some unknown reason, he became part of the American military, and he was shipped off to Vietnam.
To me, he was a “least likely” soldier. It wasn’t long before he came home, in pieces in a metal box, from stepping on a land mine.
I was so distraught that I couldn’t go to his service and it ultimately led to my last year of university being a bust. I was very hostile about the American war. The U.S. draft was taking students out of university and sending them off to a pointless end.
The massacre at Kent State by the National Guard in 1970 will forever be a dark spot in American history. Four students were killed and numerous others injured. It is widely believed this incident marked the beginning of the slide of the Nixon presidency.
It took me an extra year with summer school to see my schooling to the end. No, I can’t forget war and those who paid the price.