Dawn’s Father Was A Door Gunner in Vietnam


Dawn described her father a lot more in an interview that I saw about good parenting on YouTube. He was a door gunner on a Huey in the Pleiku region of Vietnam, and he did 2 or 3 tours. Coincidentally, I did a post about Pleiku last year, and included some rare photos. It’s a beautiful place.

When her dad left the service, he had the PTSDs really bad, and would disappear for months or years. He could not cope with basic civilian or family life. He had to keep moving and traveling, partying in order to deal with his trauma. It was a textbook Vietnam vet tragedy. The whole family suffered.

Whatever happened, dad was always their hero, even though he was not around much and rarely sent money. I think that most kids feel that way about their dad.

Excerpt from “The Other Hollywood” by Legs McNeil.

DAWN SCHILLER: After they arrested John, they drove me back to Louise’s house—the stripper—and I stayed there until I heard from my father. He called after he opened the paper and read, “John Holmes was arrested in Miami Beach.”
He called and asked, “Where are you?”
I told him where I was, and he came and picked me up and took me back to his place—he had a nice house in Pompano with a pool. My dad just cracked open a beer, and we sat down, and I told him my long, emotional story. He would just sit there and nod, and every once in a while he’d reach into his pocket and break a Quaalude in half, and just hand me one, and open me another beer.
When I was done with the story, I got the spins, and I’m like, “Dad, I have to puke.”
He says, “It’s all right, babe.” He walked me down the hall to the bathroom, and he held my hair while I just heaved my guts up.
It was like the nicest thing my dad ever did for me—holding my hair when I puked.

 

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