Nov. 11, 2022 –   It’s a late sunny afternoon when my daughter Tirsa, now in sixth grade, arrives home from school. She runs in, drops her school backpack, and heads upstairs to my home office in Pennsylvania. She gives me a brief, energetic hug and steps back. “Hey, Dad, were you in a war?” I turn and point to the pictures next to the window that overlooks the front yard.  She notices a small framed snapshot on my desk from Vietnam and says, “Who’s in that picture with you?” “That was a good friend, Buster, but we called him Boysahn because he didn’t have to shave.” “Wow, Boysahn’s cute, but so you were, Dad.”

 I mumble 23-W to myself. Tirsa says, “What?” “Nothing.”

Tirsa glances at the other pictures, along with a couple of certificates I received, and asks, “So, then you’re a veterinarian?” I laugh and add, “No, sweetie, I’m a veteran.” Now she laughs and then points to a framed photograph of The Wall in Washington, D.C. This picture is special because my mentor and good friend Ellen Burstyn shot it and gave it to me as a present. At this time, I was developing my play Memorial Day at the Actors Studio. Ellen was a phenomenal guide. “Dad, can we go there?” “To The Wall, sure.”