I'm proud of our Vietnam Veterans
Dear Lucy Micik
Ahmad F Ghais
Thank you for your service as an Airborne Qualified Infantry Operations & Intelligence Specialist. It has been too long, and it's about time for us all to acknowledge the sacrifices of those like you who answered our nation's call. Please watch over America, it stills needs your strength, courage and faithfulness. Rest in peace with the angels.
My brother Taher
After graduating from Victoria College, Cairo, he joined me in Belmont, Mass. to study Aeronautical Engineering at Boston University. He was not interested in politics, and just wanted to fly planes. His application to enlist in the US Air Force was rejected because of some eye-sight limitation. The US Army recruiter offered to train him to fly helicopters if he became a paratrooper.
He was first deployed to Vietnam around 1964-5 as a a member of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, then re-assigned to the 101st Airborne Division. He was awarded his first Purple Heart that first year for a bullet he received to the left shoulder.
On furlough home after that first deployment, he was assigned to train fresh recruits at Fort Dix. Not pleased, he pulled his former commander's strings and managed to change his assignment to the 82nd Airborne Division. Shortly after reporting at Fort Bragg, the FBI suddenly appeared at my door to inquire why he was AWOL from duty at Fort Dix!
At Fort Bragg, the Army was training him to serve as combat photographer. Immediately after the Tet Offensive early in 1968, I remember him phoning me to report that he was being re-deployed to Vietnam along with the entire 82nd. I rushed to Fayetteville, NC to see him off and collect his belongings. The sight of the fleet of C-141 lined up to airlift the paratroops was impressive. I never saw him again.
It turns out that, in the Tet Counter Offensive, he joined the LRRP (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols), and was dropped by helicopter behind enemy lines to form a blocking force just north of Phu Bai. While marching as point for his patrol, it's said that he took three bullets while attempting to recover the bodies of his fallen comrades. That earned him the second Purple Heart, and he was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star for gallantry.
Remembering an American Hero
Dear SP4 Taher Fathi Ghais, sir,
As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for the ultimate sacrifice that you made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.
May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. And please know that men and women like you have stepped forward to defend our country yet again, showing the same love for country and their fellow Americans that you did- you would be proud.
With respect, and the best salute that a civilian can muster for you.