WO Stephen Cohan Memorial
Stephen Cohan, WO . . .

In Loving Memory . . .
by: Pam Wright

© 1997

 

Dear Don: Your story about your fall trip to the Wall, Autumn's Wall, moved me to tears. It was so beautiful and you described everything with such clarity I felt as if I were at The Wall again myself. Thank you so much for creating such a wonderful webpage ... you did a great job.
      I just returned from a trip to The Wall, I was there to honor the 30 year anniversary of my father's death. He was a helicopter pilot and was shot down on February 19, 1968. On February 19, 1998, I (along with my husband, younger son, and my vet *uncle* Jack Taber) laid a homemade wreath at the base of the panel where my father's name is engraved. On that wreath was my tribute to the man I never knew (I was only 3 when he died), all that I've learned about my dad I put on that wreath.....pictures, mementos, anything that represented my dad. In the last 3 years I've learned what a good man my dad was, that many thought very highly of him....and I'm so proud when I hear someone say "Doesn't she look just like Steve" or "Your dad use to do that" - I'm told I'm just like my dad . . . .
      My first trip to the Wall - in 94 - was filled with much confusion for me. I was very sad and empty. I felt as if I came away from the Wall with nothing but a numbing emptiness. To be honest, I expected to feel some kind of closure. Instead, I felt ... nothing. I didn't even feel his presence there.
      This trip (trip of 98), I made myself not expect anything. I went there with my mind wide open, ready to feel anything and everything---and you know what? I felt the most incredible joy there! I laughed, and smiled. I thought that what I was feeling was wrong, that I should be feeling sadness. But then I realized that the reason I was feeling so much joy was because I found peace.
      I had accepted the fact that I can't will my dad back to me, and that I love him, miss him, and I'm so proud of him. At first, I was disturbed that I still didn't feel my dad's presence there. But after some reflection I came to the realization that the reason I don't is because he's with me all of the time ... I feel him all around me EXCEPT at the Wall. The reason, he's left me to visit his buddies [just like From The Other Side]. And then when I leave, he comes with me.
      There is a presence at The Wall . . . I don't know if it's just one, or of the many that died in Vietnam, but it's there. I found a peace there. I've brought that peace home with me. Sure, I still cry when I think about my dad, but the pain isn't so deep anymore. I have my dad to thank for that ... and the many Vietnam vet *uncles* that have adopted me :)
      Attached, you will find a picture of me at the Wall, holding the wreath I made, and wearing a flight jacket. The flight jacket was given to me by Jack, but was put together with the love by many. The jacket was Jack's, but he took off his patches and, with the help of my *uncles*, got a hold of a few of my dad's patches and had them sewn on. I was touched speechless by this gift. It's a gift I hold dearly, wear proudly, and feels like a big hug when I wear it. In the next several weeks, I will have my dad's name, rank, platoon, and location on the Wall embroidered on the back of the jacket ....

Thank you! Welcome home!
Pam Wright,
proud daughter of WO Stephen Cohan, B/7/17 Air Cav, 1st Aviation Brigade

 
Official Information

COHAN, STEPHEN
WO - Army - Reserve
29 year old Single, Caucasian, Male
Born on 01/04/39
From MIAMI, FLORIDA
Length of service 6 years.
His tour of duty began on 02/17/68
Casualty was on 02/19/68
in KONTUM, SOUTH VIETNAM
HOSTILE, HELICOPTER - CREW
AIR LOSS, CRASH ON LAND
Body was recovered
Religion - JEWISH
Panel 40E - Line 18

Stephen Cohan  WO W1 USA  19390104  19680219   MIAMI  FL  40E018

 

War-Stories.com Logo
Comments to Don Poss
© War-Stories.com 1995-2017. All Rights Reserved.