Vietnam was a war that changed America. It was a war that for the first time was brought into America's living rooms through video and pictures. For Bonham's Bob Jamison, it was a war that left a lifetime of emotions from pride to pain and guilt.
Bob Jamison says, “Oh we hooped, we hollered. We had a lot of fun. And then when it got time for seriousness, we got serious. And I believe I grew up a little bit too soon because I saw things most 18-year-olds don't see."
At only 18-years-old, Bob Jamison watched as two of his closest military friends died in a split second, trying to de-activate a north Vietnamese bomb.
"I had found a pin-hole to slide just a piece of wire through it. It wouldn't dismantle the bomb, it would just de-activate it," says Jamison. But that day the bomb never de-activated. It exploded just feet from where he had just walked away.
"I freaked out. I completely freaked out. These two guys were my brothers. and I’ll never forget them. I'll never forget their faces."
Faces of young men, members of the 18th Engineering Brigade and 201st, who gave all for their country, but never returned home.
"It killed me, a piece of me died that day."
Now, more than 40 years later, Jamison still remembers his fellow soldiers and the sacrifices and the transition back to civilian life.
"And it's been a long road back. It's 1300 miles and I feel like I've walked all that to get back."
Even though he shows no physical scars or battle wounds, he is like so many who have served our country - suffering from the inner pain and conflict of a reality so many can only imagine.
“And now that that I am who I am, with my medical conditions. I never got a scratch, so I don't have any purple hearts or bronze medals I was just a soldier that served.""
Today Jamison is active with the Bonham V.A. He's proud to have served his country. He wishes those overseas the best of luck.