Welcome Home Soldier
By Bill Carpenter

Geoff Koper, Art Guerrero and I received "going home" wounds in April 1967 when David Ives was killed. In the fall of 1968, I am out of the army, married, and in college. One afternoon I receive a phone call from a woman who says she is Geoff's mother. She asked if I am the Bill Carpenter who had been in LRRP with Geoff Koper, and wounded when he was. Yes, I am. She said Geoff had died from his wounds. Geoff was from Princeton, NJ. I am in Ft. Collins, CO. Art had kept track of people and told me that Geoff had recovered well and was in college. How did she find me? I didn't ask.

Not very many people knew the connection between the two of us. I was speechless. My war is over; no more people are going to die in "my war". We are both safe in the real world. I made a few comments, but can't remember what else was said. I thanked her for calling me and hang up. This was before called ID and all of that stuff. After I hang up, I realized that I did not even know where to send flowers. Going to the funeral was out of the question.

It was another 35 years before I learned that Geoff had not died. I still do not know who made the phone call, or why. A Denver newspaper had an article about Art a few weeks before. Geoff and I were mentioned. Perhaps some sicko war protestor wanted to try to extend their mental instability to me. It never occurred to them that the biggest opponent to war is the person being shot at.

By Bill Carpenter

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