The day I ran for Thomas C. Chaney my daughter ran with me again. Again we started before the sun came up, and again there was frost everywhere. We have had frost every day from Christmas through the 1st; not unusual for most places, but we here on the Central Coast of California are not used to it.
I waited a couple of days after that, and my son ran with me for David Chisum. My son's 27-year-old, 6-foot-two body set the pace for us (though he insists that it was I doing the pace-setting), and we shaved a minute off my usual per-mile time, finishing in just over 52 minutes. I am not fast, and I was pretty bushed when we were done.
Today, January 1, was two days after that run. My daughter and my son have gone back to their respective homes, and I am on my own for the running once again. I waited until late morning, but there was still ice on parts of the trail that hadn't seen the sun yet. This run was for Alfred H. Combs, Jr.
So here we are at the start of a new year, and I have run in the names of 13 of these 78 young men. There are 20 weeks between now and Memorial Day at the end of May. It is my goal to have run for the remaining 65 men by that day. Too many died in the Vietnam conflict, and this is my very small way of remembering all that they gave... for indeed, they gave all. Running six miles for each name is so very little to put forth in their memory.
If you're wondering why Twisselman is running for these men who died in the Vietnam War, check out the blog entry here that explains it.
A 19-year-old U.S. Marine Corporal from Greenfield, Chaney was killed in action in Quang Nam Province just over a month after his tour of duty started.
I have no bio info for Private First Class Chisum of Salinas, but here's an entry to his page at VVMF.org:
"So sorry you left us so young. You were such a nice person at such a young age. You were missed at our "35" year high school reunion held on 9/29/01. An Old High School Acquaintance - Cecil Guerrero"
Alfred H. Combs, Jr.
U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Combs was from Seaside. The photo here is from his page on VVMF.org, and I believe it may not be an actual photo of him but a generic photo. There is this unsigned entry on that page:
"This is Alfred Combs's Granddaughter the youngest I never knew him. But of course I love him. Wish I did get the chance to meet him I have heard he was a very smart person. Thank you grandfather for all that you did."