Sons and Daughters In Touch is an all-volunteer, national support organization committed to uniting the Gold Star sons and daughters of American servicemen who were killed, or who remain missing, as a result of the Vietnam War. In addition, our membership includes family members and many military veterans who served with our fathers -- all dedicated to furthering the mission of SDIT.
WASHINGTON — For years, Patty Lee didn’t speak about her father; her mother never discussed him with her six children.
But Sgt. 1st Class Delbert C. Totty hadn’t done anything wrong. The unspoken truth was that he was killed in action in Vietnam when Lee was 12 years old.
“We all grew up in silence,” Lee said of a generation of children whose fathers died in a war many wanted to forget. “We didn’t talk about Vietnam, we didn’t talk about our fathers.”
It’s difficult to fathom in this age of solemn homages to troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and warm welcomes when they come home safely, but for the children of Vietnam veterans, the fate of their fathers was often a dark secret.
In June, Sons and Daughters In Touch (SDIT) will celebrate its 25th Anniversary with a Father’s Day weekend celebration in Washington, DC. Attendees will gather to see their fathers’ names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and share the experience of living though the 1960s and 70s when the war was a lightning-rod for controversy and protests.
These Gold Star ‘sons and daughters’ were infants and adolescents when the dreaded ‘knock on the door’ occurred notifying them that their fathers had been killed – or were missing – in the war. They persevered, came of age, went to college, started families and careers, and many are now grandparents! But they will always be the Gold Star ‘sons and daughters’ whose fathers were lost in the rice paddies and jungles of SE Asia. Continue Reading →