This "empty chair" sits at the table which is the life of Stephen Wardin:

Dennis Fisher
--- General / Personal ---
Last name: FISHER, First name: DENNIS FAY
Home of Record (official): WALKER, State (official): MO
DOB: September 1, 1951, Sex: Male, Race: Caucasian, Marital Status: Single
--- Military ---
Branch: Army, Rank: SGT, Serial Number: 495563054, Component: Regular
Posthumous promotion as indicated
Pay grade: E4, MOS: 11C2P
--- Action ---
Start of Tour: Monday, June 29, 1970
Date of Casualty: Monday, July 20, 1970
Age at time of loss: 18
Casualty type: (A1) Hostile, died
Reason: Artillery, rocket, mortar (Ground casualty)
Country: South VietNam, Province: Thua Thien
The Wall: Panel 08W - Row 035



On the summer day,
When you went away,
I've been missing you.

Now that you're gone,
You went to Vietnam,
I've been missing you.

I wake up each day,
Don't know what to say,
I've been missing you.

Calling out your name,
Thinking I'm insane,
I've been missing you.

Every step I take,
Every breath I take,
Every prayer I pray,
Every single day,
I've been missing you.

God help me please,
To find that peace,
I've been missing him.


Dear Dennis!
          I find it very hard to write to you, It's like my mind goes blank, and I'm lost for words.
          I hope that you can forgive me for not being there for you in your time of needing my help. I'm sorry that I've let you down. I hope that you didn't lay there and suffer very long.
          I've missed you a lot over this year and I'll never forget you as long as your spirit is in my heart. You come into my world of hurt loneliness and shame.
          You came as a friend and now I realize that you were the brother that I didn't have, even though I had two brothers you became the one that I needed, and now you're gone. I taught my sons to say "I love you" before they go anywhere cause it might be the last time we see each other.
          I wish now that I could have said that to you.
          God its so hard to let you know how I feel right now and I know that you wouldn't want me to suffer that way. So I wrote down a little bit of what I can remember of the song by Merle Haggard and I hope that he doesn't get mad at me cause I changed the words a little so that you can understand what I'm trying to say and do for you and me.
          It's from a song called "Star-spangled Heaven", it goes like this.

          "I was walking over the battlefield when I noticed an old army chaplain who was stooped and bent with years, and his old eyes filled with tears as he went from soldier to soldier, and prayed a prayer.
          I noticed that each soldier died with a smile on his face as I heard the big guns booming on a hill not too far away that's when I heard him say star-spangled heaven for every soldier boy who fights to keep our country clean and free.
          So soldier trust in Jesus, let him fill your heart with joy, he'll stand by you throughout eternity.
          Those days, months and years have slowly slipped behind us, and all we have are the memories of those who had to die
          You're gone with your savior, beyond the crystal sea in a star-spangled heaven throughout eternity."

          You have missed out so much in life, you never had a chance to have a girlfriend, or a wife, and kids, and what it's like to be a grandparent.
          I'm sure that you would have been great at it.
          I'll tell my grandkids just what a great friend you've been with me, and some of the fun we had together.
          After all these years this country finally honors you a hero. I wanted you to know that I wanted to go to Viet-Nam but they wouldn't let me go. I wanted to be there with you and the other reason was to get away from my dad.
          I know that I'm no hero, I didn't go to war. I feel like I'm a coward 'cause I don't know if I have courage like you. I don't like fighting, I never have, and never will. I get scared when I'm about to get in a fight, and I stand my ground, and never back down.
          I'm afraid to fight so I guess that makes me a coward.
          I also want you to know that every step I take, every breath I take, every prayer I pray I'll be missing you.

Stephen Wardin

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