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Nicky Daniel Bacon and I have a son, William Leon Bacon Tonihka, born February 13, 1965. We lived in Glendale, Arizona, with Nicky's mom, Gramma Gene, and dad, Johno. We moved to Oregon until we came back to Arizona for our son to be born in Phoenix. I lived the Vietnam nightmare with Nicky until he came back in 1969.
I find it odd that every story told about Nicky never tells of his life during Vietnam or how twenty-eight boys from Surprise, Arizona, left school to enlist. Or of the trials we went through and the horror or the toll the war presented us with.
No one knew Nicky like I knew him. We were together from 1963 until 1970 but remained best friends until he lost his battle with cancer.
He did three tours and it seemed so unfair that just when we planned a wedding, he was called up again. I did get to go on R&R, but it seemed like overnight.
I attended his service and was so touched to see so much love, honor, and respect. This is long overdue. When he was going to an honoring ceremony, he would call and tell me he was doing this for the heroes in the cemetery. I was there through the nightmares for many dark nights, but someday that is my story to write. I continue to lift up veterans through doing what I can. He was a great man.

Eagletown, OK