During Memorial Day weekend in 2012, Linda McBrayer drove to Missouri to receive an extraordinary gift: the diary her father kept when he was a Vietnam War soldier. A baby when he died, McBrayer finally got to know her father 40 years later through the journal that had traveled 8,473 miles from Vietnam to a bookcase in Independence, Mo.

McBrayer performed this monologue as part of the Minnesota Remembers Vietnam “Epilogue” event at The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts.

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This story is part of the collection The Call to Serve: Stories of Sacrifice, War and the Way Home, which was funded by the Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation.