DISCLAIMER: This story is based on the television series Tour of Duty which aired from 1987 through 1990, distributed by New World Entertainment. All characters belong to the creators and/or producers of the show and were brought to life by Stephen Caffrey (Lt. Goldman), Terence Knox (Sgt. Anderson) and Tony Becker (Cpl. Percell). No money is being made with this story and it may not be posted, published or archived without permission. Although care has been taken in the attention to military protocol, certain artistic licenses have been made for the sake of readability.
Written by: ErinTOUR OF DUTY: Generations
This story is written for the Challenge presented by Pidd: Write how Myron Goldman may have won the rare and prestigious Medal of Honor.
Major Myron Goldman stared into the mirror at himself. His face was old and the laugh lines around his eyes were forever present. He looked into his own brown eyes and saw those of his eldest son. Grief filled his heart and his eyes flooded with tears. The old man was unable to hold back. For strength he grabbed the end of the oak dresser and let out all of the immense sorrow that filled his body.
Alone he cried.
Myron! There is no time for sorrow, you have a duty to do. His father's voice ran through his head as he pulled back from his reverie. He had spent so many years hating his father for the cold "general" attitude. Now he knew his father wasn't entirely wrong. Myron himself had used this line with his own two sons from time to time. Today he needed his father's direction.
Myron stood straight up, breathed deeply and began putting on his dress green shirt. So many times he had pulled it out of the closet for ceremonies and sadness. Today would prove to be both.
When he was dressed he slowly proceeded downstairs to his waiting family. Taking one slow wooden step at a time he ran his hand down the smooth wood of the railing he was reminded of the day he and Zeke had installed the railing. He missed his friend.
Ri An was waiting by the front door. "Clayton is bringing the car around, are you ready?"
Myron looked at her and saw a slender old lady, much like the many mama-sons he had seen during his tours in Vietnam. He would never forget those images, the people or the war.
The Major shook himself from his daze, breathed in deeply and pulled his posture up. "Yes, I'm ready. Let's go."
Myron's youngest son was waiting in the car outside as his mom and dad came down the gray painted steps of the wooden porch of their pale yellow farmhouse.
Myron Goldman watched as his youngest son Clayton opened the car door for his mother. Clayton had also chosen the Army as his career and he was dressed in his formal greens like his father. How lucky he had been to have a brother to share his life with.
The reception hall was heavily decorated in the Nation's colors and the chairs and podium were set. Myron recognized the set up, having been there before.
"Dad?" Clayton called for the Major's attention.
"Yeah." Myron responded just in time to see his son headed to the door where a group of people had recently entered. Noticing the pretty young women made Myron's heart sink, but he muscled up a smile and wandered toward the group.
"GRANDPA!" The young voice was unmistakable. Myron looked down low to find his only grandchild trotting toward him. He bent at his knees and prepared to greet the three-year-old boy.
"Connor!" Myron looked deep into his grandson's clear blue eyes and hoisted the little man up to his waist. "Hey sweetheart, you sure do look handsome in that suit."
Connor smiled and pulled at his own lapels. "I want a suit like you and Uncle Clayton, but Mommy says I have to wait till I am older and earn one like my Dad."
The Major was amazed at the amount of strength the little boy possessed. He remembered how the small man had stood tall at the funeral and had been brave the way his daddy had taught him.
Myron turned around to a familiar smile.
"Danny, how are you doing?"
"Pretty good." Danny grabbed the officer's handshake and smiled in an attempted to lighten the mood.
"How is Cheyanne doing?" Goldman asked as he looked over Danny's shoulder to see Clayton rubbing the women's protruding belly.
"She's doin' alright, all things considered. I think being at home with her mama has really helped. She'll probably feel better once that baby is born too."
"Yeah." Myron responded absently. He studied the widow whose pregnancy was a week overdue. "The doctor let her fly after all?"
Danny gave a small laugh that exhausted through his nose. "Not really. He told her no and she told him too bad."
Myron smiled as he envisioned the strong willed woman refusing an order. It wasn't the first time either. After Zeke Anderson's death the members of Team Viking vowed to have their own reunion every few years to keep in touch and tell old war stories about their favorite Sergeant.
After meeting five or six times Cheyanne Percell and Zeke Goldman, the two oldest kids, took a strong liking to each other. Shortly before his eighteenth birthday Zeke announced over dinner that he and Cheyanne had been writing letters for a few years. The young man told his parents that he loved her and the day after his eighteenth birthday he planned to marry her before leaving for his career with the Army. Myron remembered the huge argument that ensued involving all the usual questions and statements. Are you crazy? You are too young to get married? She is only seventeen! Danny will probably kill you! The first part of your military career is too difficult to be dragging along a teenage wife!
Goldman remembered the stories at the reunion about Danny forbidding his daughter to get married till she was older. Although Cheyanne loved her parents and respected them, she refused their decision. A week later the two teenagers were wed in Las Vegas to the extreme disappointment of their mothers.
Myron walked across the room to greet his daughter-in-law. "Ignored another order huh?"
Chey smiled and hugged her father-in-law as best as her belly would allow. "I wasn't going to miss this, even if I have to give birth in this room I am going to be there for Z." Here blue eyes captured the Major's. "I miss him terribly Myron, I truly loved him."
Myron felt a lump forming in his throat as he hugged the girl again. "I know you did, he loved you too."
Quietly Cheyanne began to sob into Myron's shoulder. He held her wondering if the embrace reminded her of Zeke's. His eldest son had looked identical to his father in appearance and stature, accepted for the boy's wild green eyes. Somehow the Vietnamese portion of his bloodline had not shown through as it had with Clayton.
The crowd in the room began to thicken and the Goldman and Percell families found their seats.
As the ceremony began Major Myron Goldman looked around the room. The décor had not changed much since the day he was seated upfront in the honored chair a few decades before.
The presentations began and the words of the speaker faded away. Myron recalled the day he sat in this very same room for this very same honor, alone.
First Lieutenant Myron Goldman
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Second Platoon, Company B, 3rd Battalion, 3/44th Infantry Regiment, 196th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division. Place and date: West of Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam, 23 February 1969. Entered service at: Queens, New York. Born: 15 January 1948, Queens, New York. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Lieutenant with Company B, in connection with operations against enemy forces.
Upon entering a hostile village Lieutenant Goldman and his platoon came under fierce ground attack by a large Viet Cong force supported by a heavy volume of hand grenades and small arms fire. The Lieutenant ordered his men to retreat to the safety of the tree line before engaging in heavy battle. Upon seeking cover Lt. Goldman noticed two of his men trapped by enemy fire in a dwelling, both soldier had been wounded.
Goldman unhesitatingly left the relative security of his position and, with complete disregard for his safety, raced across the fire-swept terrain to assist the soldiers to a more secure location. As he neared the casualties, he observed the Viet Cong repositioning. Goldman was able to carry the first of two soldiers to the safety of the platoon. Again with disregard for his own safety, Goldman attempted to return to the second injured man. This time the Lt. was wounded in the chest by enemy gunfire. While wounded Goldman crawled to the second solider and while ignoring his own near fatal injury he managed to drag the unconscious private back to the security of the platoon before collapsing as well.
First Lt. Goldman's gallantry on the battlefield and his extraordinary intrepidity at the risk of his life are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country. Lt. Goldman's Medal of Honor is preceded by his father's General Martin James Goldman.
Myron was pulled from his thoughts by the announcement of his son's name and the quiet sobbing Cheyanne was attempting to hold back.
Second Lieutenant Ezekiel Martin Goldman
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant Ezekiel Martin Goldman, U.S. Army, Company A, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division. Place and date: South of Seoul Korea, 28 June 2012. Entered service at: Fort Brag. Born: 15 October 1987, Queens, New York. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Second Lieutenant with Company A, in connection with operations against enemy forces.
Upon entering a hostile city Lieutenant Goldman and his platoon came under fierce ground attack by a large North Korean force supported by a heavy volume of RPGs', hand grenades and small arms fire. His company was moving through the city to relieve a friendly unit surrounded by an enemy force of estimated regimental size. Realizing that his platoon was in grave danger, and seeing three enemy soldiers moving into his position, he moved quickly under heavy fire and annihilated 5 of the ten-man squad. Seeing that his platoon was pinned down with intense fire from a multiple small arms fire, he located the enemy's position and hurled grenades. Lt. Goldman inflicted multiple enemy casualties before noticing an American soldier gravely wounded 20 meters from his position, he charged 20 meters across open ground, hurling grenades into the enemy position, and carrying the wounded soldier to a nearby building. Upon reaching the building the enemy returned fire with an RPG round. Second Lt. Goldman selflessly through his body on the wounded man shielding the man from the shrapnel and falling building. Observing men from his unit attempting to leave the security of their position to aid him, concerned only for their safety, he called to them to remain under cover, and through a final supreme effort, moved his injured comrade to where he could be pulled to safety, before he fell, succumbing to his wounds.
Second Lieutenant Goldman's indomitable courage, inspiring initiative and selfless devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the United States Army. He gallantly gave his life for his country. Second Lieutenant Goldman's Medal of Honor is preceded by his father's Major Myron Goldman and his grandfather's General Martin James Goldman
Myron's eyes filled with uncontrollable tears as his only daughter-in-law approached the presenter to accept the Medal of Honor on behalf of her fallen husband. The room had fell silent accept for the tears and quiet sobbing as the strong willed mother-to-be stoically accepted.
As Myron painfully thought about Connor and the boy's new sibling he heard his father's voice as he was handed the General's Medal of Honor. This is for the man I was. Then the Major remembered the unfamiliar affection from his father as he hugged him, and this is for the man I wanted to be.
Myron mumbled to himself. "That Medal is for the man and father he was."