Gray Stone Press
Ren - Illustration Era
Ren - Western Era
Jon Ren
Gray Stone Press
306 Moss Trail
Goodlettsville, TN 37072

615.855.0505
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email inquiries to
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Long Way From Home
(an original painting)
by David Wright
In 1964, David volunteered for and was sent to Vietnam as an advisor.  
This was before Vietnam was considered a conflict and most people
didn't even know our military was there.  They were supposed to only be
advisors to the Vietnamese military but when David was off duty, he

woul
d volunteer and flew over one hundred missions as a helicopter
door gunner with the 197th Aviation Company of armed gun ships.



















During his tour in Vietnam he was sent to work with one of the mountain
tribes.  He was surprised to find that the Montagnards lived like and
were, in many ways, very similar to the American eastern Indian of the
late 1700 or early 1800s.  They still wore loin cloths and built their
villages and longhouses very much like our eastern Indians had.  All they
wanted was for the outside world to leave them alone so they could get
back to their hunting and fishing.  However, they were also known as the
fiercest fighters in Vietnam.  


David and the Montagnards got along just fine to the point that they
adopted him into the tribe.  Part of the ceremony was them presenting
David with a bracelet which he wore for many years until, as David puts
it, it literally wore out.  Living with the Montagnards gave David an even
greater appreciation of how our early American eastern Indian tribes had
lived.   

In the late 1960's John Wayne toured Vietnam several times and filmed
the movie "The Green Berets".  On one of his morale boosting tours a
Montagnard Strike Force presented him with a "Yard" bracelet. a symbol
of friendship and respect, which is one of the two bracelets he wore and
can be seen in his later movies.

                                                      
  click to continue
Wright in Duc My Valley,
Vietnam -1965.