By SCARLET O’ROURKE
For many people, Memorial Day was a day of freedom from work, but for others like Robert Vela, it was a reminder of the ghosts he had gathered in his years of protecting freedom.
A Buck Sergeant in the Vietnam War, 65-year-old Vela had never left Port Isabel until he was drafted in 1968. He served in the 4th Infantry and 1st Calvary in the army and spent most of the war in the Central Highlands and Mekong Delta.
It has been said that the veterans who saw the most say the least about it, and Vela does not like to look back on those days.
“I don’t like to talk about war stories. All I know is I still have nightmares and PTSD because of that,” Vela said. “Every time Memorial Day comes around, I still get flashbacks.”
For more on this story, pick up a copy of the June 6 edition of the Port Isabel South Padre Press or check out our E-edition by clicking here.