J. Richard Watkins
Why I love what I do
Let me start out by saying thank you to the service men and women. I know it is not easy leaving friends and loved ones at home and travelling half-way around the world to serve your country.
In 1969, I left everything I held dear to me in order to fight for my country in Vietnam. It was a trying time for America. When I returned home, there were no parades and no welcome home parties in my home town. We were met, instead, by protesters and sideway stares. There were comments under the breath by those who despised the war and the soldiers who fought in it.
I tried to forget the war and sometimes even pretended I wasn't part of it, or that it wasn't a part of me. But in the end, I couldn't avoid the truth. So almost 40 years after my time in Vietnam, I embarked on a four-year journey to right my memories of my time at war, and to tell the world what the Vietnam War meant to me.
My journey culminated in an autobiography entitled "Vietnam, No Regrets - One Soldiers Tour of Duty" which was first published in 2005.
After I published the book, my truest journey through this War began. I started traveling around promoting and selling my memoir. In my travels I met fellow Vietnam soldiers. They would share their stories with me, stories about how the war had affected them. Often times, they would thank me explaining that, by reading about my experiences, it helped them to start a convesation with their loved ones about their own personal journeys throught the War. It made me proud to be part of something much bigger than myself.
It was then that I got the idea that if I was proud of my time in Vietnam, then maybe others were proud of their time too. So in addition to the books, I began to sell T-shirts and hats. Soon my T-shirt sales were far outpacing my book sales. I started getting request from across the country. Because of that demand I launched this website to help spread the word that I, and hundreds of thousands like me, truly have No Regrets.