Last week I received a call from Rosemary. She said it was important and left her phone number with the message to call her at anytime. The last call I received from a reader that was important turned out to be about him not being able to access the comments section on an article and he was mad and wanted me to teach him how to leave a comment. So, I was somewhat skeptical on what this conversation would entail. I called her. But now you need the back story.
Back in April of 2010, Daniel Dimmick emailed me an article about his friend Cpl. Paul Cumberland who was killed in Vietnam.
Here is the message that Daniel wrote to me:
I am sending the attached document and pictures for your consideration to publish. I wanted to write my experiences and memories about a great guy I knew growing up. He was a Marine who was killed on Feb. 27 1969 in Viet Nam. He arrived in Viet Nam on the 4th of July 1968. He is truly missed. I thought it would be great to write a book about the everyday friends we lost in the war, a chapter for each different soldier, to hear about the brave friends who gave their lives during routine missions. To let others know the kind of people they were by having a short story of their interaction and influence on us before they gave all. When you go to the Wall each name has a story. It would be nice to learn a little about these men who are gone and missed so much…This is one such chapter. Cpl Paul Cumberland is one such person.
Folks that is a nice email. But I admit I did not read the article right away and then it slipped my mind and when I was revisiting my emails I found the story and read it. It was one of the most beautifully written pieces I have ever published. It was an unforgettable story and honestly, a tear jerker. We went back and forth with some edits and it was published on September 21, 2010.
Now as I write this it is Thursday, April 28th and I just put down the phone from my conversation with Rosemary and fired off an email to Daniel Dimmick. It turns out Rosemary was Paul Cumberland’s high school girlfriend. Many years ago Paul gave her is class ring and went off to Vietnam and returned home in a flag draped casket. Rosemary was sitting in class when over the loudspeaker she heard “Paul Cumberland was killed in action in Vietnam.”
Rosemary’s sister was searching the web and found the article and told her about it. Rosemary called me, I emailed Daniel and now, after 43 years, Marine Cp. Paul Cumberland’s class ring is on its way home to his family.
Here is Paul Cumberland’s story.