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thedrifter
11-11-02, 07:15 PM
"It blew off my hand, and it blew off part of my face and took out my
lower orbital rim here, hit me in the chest. A second chest wound and
a lot of wounds down my right side, internal organs were all hit.
What they did is they dropped one of these jungle penetrators, these
baskets down, to the floor of the jungle, and the guys llifted me on
the poncho and put me in it and took off. I was flying through the
air in this pain, from this chopper, and I didn't know if I was alive
or dead."
--Steve Tice, Vietnam Veteran


It was May 18th, 1969, six months and a day into Steve Tice's tour of
duty with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam. The battle for
Hamburger Hill was an especially ugly moment in an ugly war. A
rocket-propelled grenade slammed into the right side of Tice's body.
He was helicopteredto Japan and six weeks later to San Francisco. He
lost 100 pounds. A month later, gangrene nearly claimed him. He
asked to see the chaplain, convinced he was going to die. His right
arm and shoulder were amputated.

When Tice was 18, Lisa Boyce was only 12 but had already fallen in love
with him. She would write to him oftenin Vietnam. She knew this was
not just a schoolgirl crush on a tall, handsome guy with a great sense
of humor. She told her family she would marry Steve and they would
just laugh at her.

On the day after Steve Tice arrived at Letterman Hospital in San
Francisco, Lisa Boyce, now 15, was there for him and would never lose
her ability to see beyond his bandages. He would spend nearly a year
in the hospital and then began dating Lisa. You probably can figure
out the rest of the story. Yes, they got married and had a son.
Everything seemed to be going well until some of the anger lodged
inside of him (and countless other Vietnam vets) seeped into their
lives and marriage. If you missed Steve and Lisa's story when
producer Laura Palmer first brought it to Nightline several years ago,
I won't tell you how it ends. It's quite a
love story.

On this Veterans' Day, as the 58,229 names etched into the black
granite wall of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial are read, we are
reminded of the huge loss this country suffered. But Steve Tice's
story is also a reminder of how the many survivors of the Vietnam
conflict suffer in ways those of us who didn't share that experience
will never fully appreciate.

Tonight's UpClose is for veterans and for all those who want a better
understanding of their sacrifice.

As always, UpClose is delayed by an hour or more on Mondays due to
Monday Night Football. Those of you in the East and Midwest, set your
VCR.


Richard Harris
Senior Producer
Nightline UpClose


http://www.faraway-soclose.org


Sempers,

Roger