Mike Koma served in the Vietnam War. He went to Vietnam in 1969, where he served in the Army’s 5th Infantry for a year, doing medical evacuations.
When he came back, “we didn’t have a parade or anything.”
Far from it, “I flew into the state of Washington, and people were spitting at us and calling us baby killers,” Koma said.
The war was heavily protested, and even today remains a divisive topic. People did not look kindly on the people who fought in the war after they came home.
Despite that, Koma is proud that he’s served his country, and he openly displays that fact on his car.
For 47 years, Koma’s received no positive recognition for being a Vietnam veteran, and has long stopped hoping for it.
So when a stranger brought up this fact, Koma was stunned.
Koma had been picking up canning supplies in Walmart when a woman passed through the parking lot and, seeing Koma’s plates, knew she had to say something.
When Koma came back out of the store and got to his car, he noticed something on his windshield.
It was written on the back of a note card with the American flag on it, and it brought Koma to tears.
“I fly the flags of all of our armed forces proudly!” wrote Cindy Twigg, someone who Koma had never met.
“Dear Vietnam Veteran, Thank you so much for your service in the United States Army, in Vietnam. You, sir, are a hero in my eyes and the eyes of many Americans. Thank you and your family for your sacrifices, honor, and courage. Thank you for my country. Sincerely, Cindy Twigg.”
For Koma, this one little note made all the difference—someone out there, a complete stranger, cared.
Mary Koma, his wife, was so moved by the fact that this token of recognition brought her husband closure that she wanted to share the story with more people. She posted the note to Facebook in hopes of finding Cindy Twigg.
“I put it on Facebook hoping someone would know her,” she told CBS. “[The note] made him feel good, and that’s what I want to see him do, to heal from that war.”
Koma hoped they would find her. “I’m going to thank her for that.”