By Deanna Gail Shlee

Paul and Darlene Murphy

My daughter, Darlene, did her Army basic at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina, then was stationed at Ft. Eustis, Virginia. She met and married a career man also stationed at Ft. Eustis -- a crew chief and trainer on the Cobras and Apaches.

They were sent to Hawaii for a time. Paul's duty station was Schofield Barracks, but they housed on Wheeler AFB. He TDYed to Korea a couple of times; then they moved back to Ft. Eustis.

War was declared.

I stayed with my daughter and their three children during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. They lived "right around the corner" from the base -- bought a lovely home right in the woods, so to speak. It's known as the Peninsula of Virginia, where more than 40,000 at one count had gone to DS/DS.

When I took my daughter's oldest child, my oldest granddaughter Jacquelyne, to grade school in the mornings, I would walk out through the halls. They were COVERED -- both sides -- with the writings of the children of those that were at war in Kuwait.

I would go from page to page and read the wisdom and openness of these small children. Each time I went, I tried to hurry through those halls and not read; but my feet had weights and those "Walls" drew me like a magnet. One I HAD to go to each time ended with this line: "Please, Daddy, don't die."

Names on those Walls, too, of Fathers, Mothers, plus the names of their children. I could never reach the front doors of that school without the tears streaming and the rage building. It is coming even now, when I think of it.

Washington, D. C., is not the only place with a Memorial Wall. There are others -- living, breathing testaments to another war.

copyright © 1994 by Deanna Gail Shlee, all rights reserved