James Sargent (JS) and Don Sargent (DS)
JS: In 1966 I enlisted in the army for service in Vietnam. At that same time, Don was battling his diabetes.
DS: It basically destroyed my outlook on what I was going to do for the rest of my life. I had enlisted for Air Force service and as soon as I called them up and told them I was a diabetic, they rejected me.
JS: You were headed for the air force maybe as a career.
DS: Yeah, with the last name ’Sargent,’ it’s the only thing I ever thought of my whole life and I was ready, and then I wasn’t. But I remember just before you left to go to Vietnam, that was the only time my heart was ever broken. I worried about you more than I could ever think that I could. Every night we used to sit in front of the TV and look at the names as they come past for the deceased and missing and we applauded and cried for each other when we saw your name wasn’t there. And I remember when I got to see your medals. That was quite humbling for me to know that my brother was such a hero, beyond what I thought he was.’
JS: What I’ve gone through doesn’t even begin to make the first notch on the measurement of what you’ve gone through. Since you have had diabetes, not once have I heard you complain, even the times that I’ve visited you in the hospital. When you were conscious, you were smiling. So if admiration is something I’m to be given, man, you get a case of it, not a six-pack, you get a case. That’s how I feel about you, Don.
DS: Well, I’ve loved you, from the first day I remember you. I remember you taking me around the front yard and watching the train go down the street. I wasn’t 18 months old, but I remember that.
JS: I’m proud to be your brother. And you’re my guy. So.
DS: And you’re my guy. And I love you.
JS: Thank you, brother.
DS: Thank you, brother.