The Final Post: Last Vietnam War Letters Arrive 43 Years Late
Forty-three years ago, US Army Sgt Steve Flaherty wrote a letter home to his mother from the jungles of Vietnam. On Saturday, his letters came home to the US.
Sgt Flaherty was born in Oiso, Japan, to an American father and Japanese mother.
Ronald Flaherty, stationed in Japan with the US Army in the early 1950s, convinced his parents to adopt Steve after meeting him in a local orphanage. Flaherty was nine years old when he came to the US.
He was raised in Columbia, South Carolina, and won acclaim at Dentsville High for his baseball ability. In 1966 he entered Bryan College in Tennessee on a baseball scholarship.
His uncle, Kenneth Cannon, said that Major League Baseball scouts had contacted him, but Flaherty chose instead to enlist in the army in October 1967.
Flaherty joined the 101st Airborne Division and was sent to Vietnam in 1968. He wrote home telling horrific tales of booby traps and fallen comrades.
“If Dad calls, tell him I got too close to being dead but I’m okay, I was real lucky,” he wrote. “I’ll write again soon.