I wanted to be known as something other than a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to the newspaper. After 30 years, and having held several positions, Special Sections Editor looks really good on my business card.

I wanted to be known as something other than a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to the newspaper. After 30 years, and having held several positions, Special Sections Editor looks really good on my business card.

Besides this column, I write about advertisers as well as copy for special sections we print throughout the year (hence, special sections editor). I don’t take the title of editor lightly, as I have the utmost respect for our editors on staff who truly have been educated in the field of journalism. My training has been strictly through a hands-on learning curve, which I feel I’m just now getting right.

Sometimes the topics I’m asked to write about are a struggle. Maybe it’s because I don’t know anything about that subject and I need to generate 500 or more words about it anyway. Pulling a story together when the person I’m interviewing isn’t much of a talker can be like making mashed potatoes without milk.

When our publisher approached me about writing copy for a special section on The Wall That Heal,s my first reaction was concern since it would be in the middle of two other projects. Just a few seconds later, I was touched and honored that he would allow me to have the privilege to cover something that is not only a historical event for our communities, but a subject that is close to my heart.

The Vietnam Veterans half-scale replica of The Wall That Heals will be on display in Pink Hill Park in Blue Springs Sept. 30 through Oct. 3. It’s our chance to say, welcome home, Vietnam veterans.

I have two older brothers, much older actually. As my parents would say I was a “surprise.” When the Vietnam War draft lottery began, I remember the frantic concern my parents had since both boys were of age. With both in college, it seemed everything would be OK, until one of them announced he had joined the Marines.

Mom cried while Dad just shut down and didn’t speak to anyone for weeks. For whatever reason my brother, who either was chosen or volunteered, trained to be a sniper and was dropped into the jungle, where he lived for an entire year.

We didn’t know he was coming home. I remember waking up to mom crying hysterically and there he was – skinny, shaved head and holding onto our mother as if he were a child again. He came home safely, but he was never the same brother who left us two years earlier. His wounds are deep and may never heal, because they are of the heart, mind and soul.

The Wall That Heals provides us with the opportunity to learn, share and heal. If you or a loved one were in the Vietnam War, help me write about an era I was too little to embrace. You call, I’ll listen and I’ll be honored to tell your story.