Monday, January 30, 2012

The Day After

You know, I knew that my Father was a very loved man, but I never could have imagined the amount of saddness floating through the world today. Many of you come by here from time to time but I have read blog after blog after facebook post about my Sarge today and I am truly touched. I have cried, I have laughed, I have pouted, and I have smiled today. I guess this will continue for a while to come.

My father has not smoked anything in a couple decades, but he used to enjoy a cigar. Therefore in his honor last night I indulged in a fine Dominican cigar. Three of the guys at Fern House joined me, and as we sat in the courtyard smoking these cigars I described the love that the Sarge had shown for so many years. I described the struggles that he went through with me, and they were many as most of you know. These guys who had never met him listened to my stories in awe of what a great man he was. I described the time we had since I got clean, the four cruises we spent together, the getting together every weekend for family time, and the look he gave me the day he told me hospice was coming when he made sure to tell me exactly how proud he was that I was his son.

I have a void, a void that can not be filled by anything. But when I look outside that selfish emotion of hurt, I realize that my father became the luckiest man in the universe yesterday. Let me explain........
Dad was a soilder, He fought in war, he fought addiction, he fought cancer three different times for the last eleven years of his life. Some of you read Mimi's Peace Blog, well she described that every soldier wants nothing more than peace, Sarge found that peace yesterday. Knowing that he will never fight again makes this unbearable pain sting a little bit less.

I walked into the computer room at Fern House, and one of the guys had found Sarge's blog and made that picture of him with the M-16 from Vietnam the backround picture on the computer. That made me cry again, but I reminded that is one of the fights he will never endure again.

I cant even stand to read back what I have written, I am just typing as fast as can hoping the thoughts will never enter my head again, knowing I wont be able to stop them. I hope this has been something that can be read, although I dont think I will read it for some time.

Once again, THANK YOU ALL for the love you have shown my family

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Trying to fulfill a mans last wish

Most of you know this wonderful man. Some call him Sarge, one called him soul mate, and several called him dad. My father, and our friend completed the fight today and went on to join at Gods side. I will miss his sense of humor and dry sarcastic way for the rest of my days. Shortly after he passed my sister told me that he had a wish. A wish that according to the regulations of the Vetrans Administration will not come true, but if you know me I will not give up that easily. Sarge passed from cancer, his third different cancer that worked its way through his body for the last eleven years. All three cancers were caused by Agent Orange which was routinly sprayed on many of our troops during the Vietnam War. His wish was to have his name placed on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC. He felt like he deserved that since his service cut short his life, and so do I.

The Old Sarge, Saigon 1968
The following is a letter that I drafted between tears to Congressman Alan West:

January 29, 2012

Representative Alan West
1708 Longwood HOB
Washington, DC 20515 

Dear Mr. West, 

I am writing this letter to you with a very heavy heart. My father, Charles Edwin Cordle passed away today after eleven years of fighting three different cancers. My father was a decorated veteran of 26 years of service to his country, and I choose you to receive this letter because he appreciated your service for veterans in the United States Congress. My father was a conservative patriot who loved his country, and would proudly give his life defending it. Sadly, in a roundabout way that has now happened. 

My father volunteered to join the United States Army in 1960, serving several tours in Vietnam, Germany, Korea and Okinawa. During his tours in Vietnam he was routinely sprayed with Agent Orange, which the doctors at the VA hospital in West Palm Beach determined was the cause of each of his three bouts with cancer.  

One of his final wishes in the great life he enjoyed was for his name to be placed where it belongs; alongside his 58,195 brothers that perished in that fight on the Vietnam Memorial. We are all aware that my father did not perish on the battlefield, but the actions on that field of battle shortened his time here which makes his placement on that wall fitting. 

Mr. West, I am not expecting anything from you except what is right. I know that as an advocate for United States Service men and women that you are exactly the right person for this undertaking. What I am asking for is not easy, but what part of the life of a veteran is easy. Please help, thank you sir.

Charles Edwin Cordle II

I wish to encourage his friends to draft similar letters to their Congressmen so maybe we can make his wish come true. Thank You for your help and I love you all. Most of all I love my dad and will do anything I can to make his wish a reality.