Forum Posts

Steve Haisley
Nov 10, 2022
In Message Board
Just a quick shout out to wish all of you a very Happy Birthday. I've said it many times before and I'll say it again. It was truly an honor and privilege serving with the bravest Marines to ever walk the face of the earth. I will treasure that until the day I die. Semper Fi
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Steve Haisley
Sep 16, 2022
In I Remember
I don't know about you, but I've found myself thinking about LZ Margo a lot this week. My thoughts and feelings about that day are all over the place. Part of me wishes the memories would magically disappear, and yet part of me doesn't want them gone. The sounds of September 16, 1968 are forever etched into my mind. The distant "thumping" of rounds leaving the NVA mortar tubes, and the blood curdling screams of the wounded and dying will haunt me until the day I die. Somehow, erasing those memories doesn't seem fair to those who sacrificed their lives. For me, that would mean those brave Marines have been forgotten, and that their sacrifice was for naught. That creates my dilemma. Even though those memories are still painful, I can't dishonor them by forgetting. Who's going to remember that day and those sacrifices if I forget? I have a good friend who served in Vietnam with the Army. One of his favorite sayings when we talk about Vietnam is, "I'm tired of being tired." Personally, I'm tired of reliving those moments over and over. I'm tired of the countless "ups" and "downs" in my life because of that time so long ago. I can't begin to tell you how many times over the years I've wanted to throw in the proverbial towel and quit. Another dilemma. To quit would dishonor those men, so I keep plugging away. To be fair, those "ups" and "downs" have made me who I am today. I'm tired, but I'm not beaten. Actually, I'm a much better and stronger person because of Vietnam and in particular, September 16, 1968. As much as my memories haunt me, I'm not sure I would change that part of my life. God has, and continues to bless my life beyond belief. It's difficult for me to be angry or bitter when I've been so blessed. Yes, there are times when I still feel "tired" and defeated, but the blessings in my life out weigh those moments by far. I often reflect on the amazing people God has put into my life over the years. I'm honored and humbled to have served with you at LZ Margo. Today is a day of reflection and remembrance for me. Let's honor those brave Marines we left behind by never forgetting their sacrifice, and by living our lives to the fullest. We owe that to them. Semper Fi
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Steve Haisley
Sep 15, 2022
In Fallen Brothers
There are times when it's difficult for me to wrap my head around the fact that you've been gone for so long. In hindsight, those days are almost surreal to me. It seems like yesterday that we were 19-year old Marines who had a chance encounter just hours before you were killed. You are eternally 19, and I'm growing old. (I'm not complaining because God has blessed my life beyond belief.) It's ironic that our brief conversation turned into a life changing event for me. Not sure why, but the impact was profound. Our conversation haunted me for years. I could remember the trivial things we talked about on the afternoon of September 15, 1968, but I couldn't (and still can't) remember your face. After meeting with your brother, John, I've come to peace with that. It's important to me that you know you haven't been forgotten. Regardless of how brief our meeting was 54 years ago today, you made a life-long impression on a 19-year old kid from Buffalo Grove, IL. You are remembered . . . I promise. Semper Fi
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Steve Haisley
May 30, 2022
In Fallen Brothers
To those gentle souls we left behind nearly 54 years ago, you have not been forgotten and will live in my heart until I take my last breath. Semper Fi
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Steve Haisley
Mar 29, 2022
In Message Board
Thinking about all of you and those gentle souls we left behind so long ago. It is also a reminder to me of how much God has, and continues to, bless my life. I am honored and humbled to have served with you. God Bless. Semper Fi
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Steve Haisley
Dec 25, 2021
In Message Board
Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy and Healthy New Year. Semper Fi
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Steve Haisley
Nov 10, 2021
In Message Board
I celebrated my first Marine Corps birthday 54 years ago today at MCRD San Diego. The Marine Corps changed my life. Even though my memories of those days have faded a little over the years, what an amazing journey it's been. I will always be proud to say I've served my country and that I'm a United States Marine. Semper Fi "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother." ~ William Shakespeare Hope you're all are doing well and have a blessed day.
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Steve Haisley
Sep 13, 2021
In I Remember
I don't know about you, but there aren't too many days that go by that I don't find myself thinking about Vietnam and the life changing events of LZ Margo. As the anniversary approaches, I feel like I'm on sensory overload. My mind is constantly thinking about the "what if's" or "what might have been." The memories of that day are still vivid. Sometimes, too vivid. They are forever etched into my soul. The screams, deafening explosions, and the continual "thumping" sound of NVA mortars leaving their tubes are permanently ingrained into my mind's eye. To this day, begging God to spare me that day is the most humbling experience of my life. It's ironic because up until September 16, 1968 I thought I was invincible. I'd seen friends killed and wounded, but that was never going to happen to me. I'd been in several fire fights, mortar, and rocket attacks prior to Margo, but I never thought I was going to be wounded or die. In fact, I don't ever remember being scared until afterwards when I had the opportunity to think about what had transpired. LZ Margo was different. I don't know why, but I knew I was about to die. I was no longer invincible. I was so certain that I mentally said goodbye to my mom and dad, and to my brother and sisters. There was very little cover, so I just laid there and waited for the inevitable. As scared as I was, it was one of the most peaceful and serene moments of my life. It seemed that the mortars were never going to stop. The explosions were deafening. The screams were louder. Some of the rounds hit so close that they lifted me off the ground. I remember there were moments when I thought the attack was stopping, but the NVA were just walking the rounds to another part of the LZ. When the next barrage came back I was wounded. In hindsight, I realize God had heard me begging for my life and spared me. Back then it had nothing to do with God, I was just lucky. I've thought about it thousands and thousands of times over the years and still don't know why He spared me. How, in the midst of all that chaos, did they find a corpsman to treat my wounds? How did I get medevaced on the first chopper? Why didn't the helicopter we were on crash because it was so overloaded? Why didn't I bleed to death? I'll never know the answers to those questions, but they've given me a purpose in life. That purpose is to keep alive the memory and spirit of the heroes who sacrificed their lives at LZ Margo. That is my sole purpose and I will continue to do so until the day I die. Over the years I've been told by some that I need to "get over" Vietnam. How do I "get over" something that is engraved into my soul? How do I "get over" a life altering experience that's made me who I am today? To be honest, I don't want to forget. To forget would be a grave dishonor and injustice to those brave men who sacrificed their lives. That's why God spared me. To be the voice they no longer have. That's our responsibility. We are United States Marines and the camaraderie and love we share for one another is what makes us unique. We are a brotherhood like no other. I've seen things that no teenager should ever have to see. We've all seen those things. The events of September 16, 1968 will forever be with us. As difficult as those times were, I have no regrets. I can't begin to tell you how much I've struggled, and there have been many times I wanted to give up. The blessing is that those sometime seemingly insurmountable struggles have made me a better and stronger person, and I can't be bitter or angry about that. God has, and continues to bless my life beyond belief. Semper Fi
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Steve Haisley
May 24, 2021
In I Remember
I know some of you have already seen this, but I thought it only fitting to share it again because the 53rd anniversary of John's death falls on Memorial Day this year. This is something I wrote to honor John on Memorial Day 2014. It was printed in a Chicago area newspaper. John was killed when our patrol was ambushed on May 31, 1968 just outside of Con Thien. His death, as well as many others, have had a profound impact on my life. Thanks for the memories, John. Memorial Day 2014 This week marks the 46th anniversary of your death. Friends and families will be getting together this Memorial Day weekend to celebrate the unofficial start of summer. Unfortunately, most will give little or no thought to you or the thousands upon thousands of brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. I will think about you and all the others as I do every day. Your beautiful smile is forever etched into my mind’s eye. Today I am reminded of how truly blessed I am to be able to smell the delicate fragrance of blooming lilacs, the aroma of countless grills riding the breeze in our neighborhood, and the scent of freshly mowed grass. Simple pleasures that you gave up so long ago that we take for granted. I want you to know that you are greatly missed and will never be forgotten. I have kept your spirit alive in my heart and you are my hero. Semper Fidelis In memory of John A. Dennis “H” Co 2/26 Marines KIA May 31, 1968 Vietnam Ironically, John was buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, MO on June 14, 1968, which would have been his 20th birthday. His daughter, Catrina, was born 6 days later on June, 20, 1968.
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Steve Haisley
May 07, 2021
In Message Board
Yesterday I had the honor and privilege of speaking to History classes at Glenbrook South H.S. in Glenview, IL. (Tom, if you read this your pictures have added so much to my presentation. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to use them. ) It was the first time I'd been back in the classroom in 2 years because of the pandemic. I was so excited to speak to the kids. Actually, I had an adrenaline rush that I've never experienced before. I asked God to use me to touch someone's heart with my story. The classes went great and as always, the kids were amazing. When I got home, I had an email from one of the teachers whose class I'd spoken to. I'm including it below. I had this in my 'inbox' when I got home. Hello, I just want to say how amazing and impactful it was to have Mr. Haisley tell his story in class today. It has made a life-long impression on me and I am truly grateful for this experience! I am so happy he was able to do this and thank you so much! Sincerely, Elle ***** This email got me to thinking, which can be pretty dangerous at times. ;-) Each of us has a story and is unique. Mine is no more special than anyone else's. That being said, I'm issuing a challenge. Memorial Day is just a few weeks away. I'm challenging you to share your story about LZ Margo with someone you don't know or someone close who's never heard it. Very simple and not complicated. There won't be a test on this, but I'm asking you to post what happened when you shared your story. If you post something, you get a free can of ham and motherf@%#*ers. Just kidding!!!!! Let's see how many people are successful by Memorial Day. Semper Fi
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Steve Haisley
Apr 23, 2021
In Message Board
Just thought I'd check in and see how everyone is doing. The weather here in Northern Illinois is finally starting to warm up a bit. We had snow flurries yesterday and a hard frost this morning, but we're supposed to be in the 70's next week. It's been so nice to get out and work in the yard a little. It seems like this past winter dragged on forever. We've also been spending quite a bit of time with our 3 grandchildren. They keep us young. Lauren and I have both of our COVID vaccines, so we feel a little more comfortable being out in public. I got some great news today. I've been asked to speak to local high school students on my experiences in Vietnam the first week in May. I've been speaking to high school classes for about 20 years, but was unable to do so last year because of the pandemic. As some of you know, talking about my experiences and those we left behind has become my passion. I truly believe that kids today need to know about the sacrifices that so many have made for our freedom. I'm truly honored that some teachers have made me a part of their American History curriculum and have given me the opportunity to share my story. I hope you're all doing well and staying healthy. Take care and God Bless. Semper Fi
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Steve Haisley
Jan 17, 2021
In Message Board
It's been a few weeks since anyone has posted so I thought see how everyone is doing. As usual, not much going on here in Northern Illinois. It seems like one day just blends into the next. Lauren and I haven't socialized a great deal and have managed to stay healthy. Our weather hasn't been too bad, so I can't complain about that. We haven't had much snow and it hasn't been very cold. I think we've used our fireplace more this year than in any of the 40 years we've lived here. Admittedly, it does make things toasty for my daily afternoon nap. I'm really looking forward to warmer weather and being able to spend time outdoors. Other that, same old stuff. Thinking about everyone this morning and praying you're all well. Have an awesome day and stay healthy. Semper Fi
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Steve Haisley
Dec 23, 2020
In Message Board
Just want to take a moment to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. This has been a difficult and trying year with COVID to say the least, but we have survived and the new year brings hope. Regardless of all the craziness, I still consider myself so very blessed. Stay healthy and God Bless. Semper Fi
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Steve Haisley
Nov 10, 2020
In Message Board
Happy 245th Birthday United States Marine Corps. It is truly an honor and a privilege to have served with such amazing Marines. Semper Fidelis
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Steve Haisley
Oct 13, 2020
In Message Board
A crisp fall morning here in Northern Illinois. Thought I'd check in and see how you're all doing. I say this every time I make a post, but I'm not sure where the time goes. My travels for the year are over. I managed to keep fairly busy this summer with a trip to Colorado to visit with my family and our son, and I made 2 trips to Indiana to visit and spend time with several of the guys I was in boot camp with. We always joke that we were once 18-years old and lean and mean, and now we're all in out 70's. My brain continues to tell me I'm 18, but unfortunately my body doesn't agree and won't comply in any way, shape or form. Our grandchildren continue to be the bright spot in our lives. I don't know what we'd do without them. What a blessing they are! Lauren and I remain healthy, which is another blessing. I continue to get together with my small group from church every week for dinner, and we do an hour long Zoom meeting every Sunday morning. We've been eating outside keeping the appropriate social distancing, but I'm not sure what we'll do now that winter is approaching. I really miss going to church every Sunday morning. Admittedly, I'm a "social butterfly" and need contact with friends and family on a daily basis. Hope you're all doing well and staying healthy. I'd love to get together again and see everyone. Once wasn't enough. We're not getting any younger. Maybe we can plan a get together next year. It doesn't have to be fancy like our first reunion. I miss the camaraderie that we shared in Detroit. Have an amazing day and God Bless. Semper Fi
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Steve Haisley
Sep 16, 2020
In I Remember
September 16, 1968 is a day that changed all of our lives forever. It's always easy to focus on the negative aspects of our lives, but I prefer to be thankful on this very special day. I'm so very, very thankful I survived and that I've have had the opportunity to experience life for another 52 years. I'm thankful for the many trials and tribulations in my life because they've made me a stronger and better person. I'm thankful for my wife and children, who've put up with my many struggles and mood swings over the years. I'm thankful for the brief conversion I had with Doug Impson on September 15, 1968, just hours before he was killed. I'm still in awe that such a short, trivial conversation had such a powerful impact on my life. I'm thankful to have served with some of the finest and bravest Marines to ever walk the face of the earth. I'm thankful for our reunion in 2018. It is without a doubt one of the best things to ever happen to me. What an amazing experience! I'm thankful and proud that I'm a United States Marine. I'm thankful that God has brought me a peace I've never known before. Remember and reflect today on those heroes we left behind. Remember and reflect today on all of the blessings in your life. We owe it to those who sacrificed their lives to live our lives to the fullest. They wouldn't want it any other way. It is our duty and obligation to keep their spirit alive, and to honor their memory through our lives. Semper Fi
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Steve Haisley
Sep 15, 2020
In I Remember
52 years ago today you and I met for the very first time and we had our first and only conversation. Even though half a century has passed, what we talked about that day is still fresh in my mind. You're forever 19-years old and I'm growing old. I find it ironic that such a brief conversation has had such an impact on my life. I've thought about you nearly every day since that fateful day. I watched the movie, Saving Private Ryan, the other day and the ending always makes me cry. "I've tried to live my life the best that I could. I hope that was enough. I hope that at least in your eyes I've earned what all of you have done for me." ~ Private James Francis Ryan I hope that I've made you, and all those who sacrificed their lives at LZ Margo, proud. You have not been forgotten. We'll meet again someday and finish our conversation. Semper Fi
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Steve Haisley
Sep 03, 2020
In Message Board
Good morning! I hope you're all doing well and healthy. Just thought I'd see what everyone has been up to. My road trip to Colorado was great. I got to spend time with our son, Steve, and my sisters and brother. Steve drove up to Colorado Springs from Phoenix and couldn't get over how "cool" it was there. If memory serves me correct, they've had a string of record setting 100 degree days. It has been very dry in Colorado this summer and there was quite a bit of smoke in the air from forest fires. We got to do some hiking and camping, which was a sober reminder to me that I'm not 18-years old anymore. It took me several days to acclimate to the altitude. My brother, who is 62-years old, is an avid mountain climber, runner, and biker. He's like a mountain goat! I had to remind him on several occasions that I'm a flat lander and 10 years his senior. Despite him running my little old legs into the ground, we had a great time. When I left, I had pretty much made up my mind that I was going to drive straight through. ( I stopped in North Platte, NE on the way out, which was almost 800 miles.) Sixteen hours and 1,081 miles later I arrived home safely. I only stopped for gas and to use the restroom. As of this writing, my posterior hasn't yet fully recovered. My next trip is to Indiana in 2 weeks for our 53rd boot camp reunion. We normally have it in June, but had to cancel it because of COVID-19. After that, I'm off to Fort Wayne, IN the second weekend of October to spend some time with some of my Marine Corps buddies. I don't know about any of you, but I've been struggling with all that's going on in our country right now. Sometimes it seems as if we've gone mad. I've quite watching the news because it's too depressing. Fortunately, I attend a Veterans Support Group every couple of weeks, which has been very helpful. When I start feeling down, my thoughts always go back to LZ Margo and how blessed I am. Despite all the craziness, I'm alive and well. Again, I hope you're all doing well. You're in my thoughts and prayers. Have an awesome day and God Bless. Semper Fi Steve
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Steve Haisley
Jul 25, 2020
In Message Board
Things have been pretty quiet on the site for awhile. Just thought I'd check in and see how everyone is doing. Things are good here in northern Illinois. The weather has been hot and muggy. One day seems to run into the next and I really have to think about what day of the week it is. They've relaxed some of our COVID-19 restrictions, but I'm still concerned about going out and being around people. The good news is that I've been able to put some miles on the Corvette. Unfortunately, they've canceled all of the cruise nights and car shows in our area. I'm meeting our son, Steve, in Colorado Springs in 3 weeks to go camping. He lives in Phoenix and I haven't seen him in awhile. I'm going to drive, and I'm really looking forward to the road trip and spending time with him. Stay healthy and God Bless. Semper Fi
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Steve Haisley
Jul 04, 2020
In Message Board
Wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a Happy 4th. I hope everyone is doing well. Sitting here this morning thinking about July, 4, 1968 at Con Thien. It has to be my most favorite ever. Have a great day and God Bless. Semper Fi
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Steve Haisley

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