Rest in Peace
McArthur (Mac) Cole (Deceased June 2003)
Veteran of "C" Battery 1/83rd Artillery 1966-1967.
Mac Cole served in "C" Battery in 1966-67. The following letter was written by his son Danny Maddox.
"Bill, Thanks so much for adding my Dad to the 83rd Last Mission list. I am so proud of him and have a soft spot for ALL Vietnam vets because of him and the crap you guys put up with after coming home. He didnít talk of things he saw until about 3 days before his death. I was keeping an eye on him one Saturday so my Mom could get a well deserved break. He just opened up and told me story after story. My Mom told me he never spoke about the war to her. Made me even more proud of him to hear of things he saw and did, yet still came home and lived a good Life. He had a wild side but when my birth father and Mother divorced, she met Mac. I was 3 and they married when I was 4. I've called him Daddy ever since. A man of few words but the look on his face and his 6 foot frame and huge hands was all he needed to get his point across. The older I got the more I respected him. He always preached to me about taking responsibility, treating people with respect.
At about 22 or so, all the things he preached for so long started to make sense. Looking back he is and always will be the smartest human I've ever known. I have wanted to find out more about his time in Vietnam but didnít ask him. He loved to tell you the fun stories like how one of his buddies couldn't wait to get home and see a white picket fence. To him I guess that would make him feel at home. So the boys took bandage and some stakes and made a neat fence around their barracks. I have a picture of that. And he loved to talk about that 8-inch Gun. Could tell you about every nut and bolt on it. My grandmother, Macs mom, had all of his pictures from Nam till she passed about 4 months before he did. He had left his uniform, pictures and everything at her home for all those years. I got those pictures and for his last birthday March 20, I framed all of his medals with all insignia and bought one of those frames that hold about 10 pictures and had a few copies of some made and gave it to him. I was a little hesitant at first because I did not want to bring back bad thoughts but I just wanted him to know how proud of him that I was for the man he was and for teaching my brother and I the same. Man was he proud, I sighed in relief. He had such an impact on my life and there is so much I would still love to talk to him about. You asked me about the agent orange. The oncologist he had said no but I have spoke with multiple people who had Vietnam Vet loved ones pass and the cancer started in the same place and took the same route through the body and theirs was associated with agent orange.
Anyone that wants to can contact me, I would love to talk to someone who knew him."
ED Note. I think this letter is a fine tribute to Mac and what a successful father and man that he was.