T-Squared Energy Connections[i]
July 2, 1971 – Coming Home
Author’s Note: When I started this series of posts about people who grace a Table for Two, I had no idea where it would lead. As we travel through the last fifty years, I feel it is important to address historical issues as they occurred. Thank you, readers for taking this journey with me, wherever that might lead.
Tom Savino returned home from Vietnam to protesters and accusations of being a baby killer. The transport plane carrying Tom and fellow soldiers taxied away from the main terminal after landing in the United States. Ground crew directed the plane to a small service hangar to avoid disruptions to commercial flights.
Armed guards escorted the soldiers to military buses with darkened windows. The loss of his left arm, just above his elbow made it difficult for Tom to shoulder his gear. A guard hoisted Tom’s duffel, tossing it into the luggage compartment under the bus.
Twenty-four hours later, Tom arrived in Hartsburg. A joyous contingent of family and friends greeted him at the bus station waving small American flags. The smile on Tom’s mother’s face and the bear hug from his father helped, but the horrible acts of war he witnessed and committed overshadowed the excitement of coming home.
“Look at you Sara, no leg braces. Love the cane; very fancy. I ordered you a coffee and Independence Day Scone. I hope that’s okay.”
“Sounds perfect!” Grinning ear-to-ear, Sara hugged her cousin Stuart, joining him outside Table for Two.
“Two years of equine assisted therapy training did wonders for me. I’ll always need a cane to help with balance, but no more hardware to lug around. I’m so excited, Stuart. I told you about the job I applied for at a Therapeutic Riding Center for the Handicapped in Michigan. I start August first. Can you believe it?”
“I didn’t know there was such a place till you told me you were applying for the job.”
“It opened last year and is the first of its kind in the U.S.”
“What about your dream to turn Gramps’ farm into a therapy farm?”
“That is still my dream. I can’t think of a better way to learn how to make that happen. I’ll get real-life experience and pick their brains on how to get started here.”
“Maybe I can visit you at the Center. I have another year of graduate school at the University of Michigan.”
“I have something serious I want to discuss with you Sara. The Fourth of July Parade Committee asked me lead the horse guard with you again. I want to ride with the guard, but there is someone I believe deserves the honor of leading more than I do. I spoke to the Parade Committee about Tom Savino taking my place.”
“Didn’t he just get home from Vietnam?”
“Tom arrived a couple of days ago; I went to his welcome home party. He lost part of his left arm and is having a hard time adjusting to the mixed reactions people have about serving in Vietnam.”
“Tom didn’t start the war. He stepped up and went when his number was called. Maybe we shouldn’t be there; but people need to get a grip. Taking out their frustrations on Tom is wrong. It’s just wrong.”
“I agree, Sara. I was lucky; being in graduate school kept me out of the draft. If Tom is willing, I would like him to ride beside you. A show of support and appreciation from the people of Hartsburg could go a long way toward making him feel like the hero he is.”
“Great idea, Stuart. Have you talked to Tom about it?”
“Not yet. I wanted to be sure the committee would back me on this.”
“A little equine therapy might help Tom too. Let’s talk to him and make it happen.”
If you have never seen the Vietnam Memorial, I recommend you make the effort to visit the miniature version as it travels around the country. I guarantee it will touch you on a visceral level.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is defined as having flashbacks, upsetting memories, and anxiety following a traumatic event. It was first officially recognized as a mental health condition in 1980, only five years after the end of the Vietnam War. For hundreds of years, these symptoms have been described under different names in soldiers from many wars. However, Vietnam Veterans with these symptoms were the first to have the term ‘PTSD’ applied to them. Despite the passage of 50 years since the war, for some Vietnam Veterans, PTSD remains a chronic reality of everyday life. – See more at: Public Health VA 
A Few Statistics
Vietnam War – Casualties:
United States: 58,119 killed, 153,303 wounded, 1,948 missing in action
South Vietnam: 230,000 killed and 1,169,763 wounded (estimated)
North Vietnam: 1,100,000 killed in action (estimated) and an unknown number of wounded
[i] T-Squared – In astrological charts the t-square configuration is a dynamic pattern that links and inter-locks energies. It can be seen in the major events, challenges, and themes that are encountered in life.