• NEW! LOWEST RATES EVER -- SUPPORT THE SHOW AND ENJOY THE VERY BEST PREMIUM PARACAST EXPERIENCE! Welcome to The Paracast+, eight years young! For a low subscription fee, you can download the ad-free version of The Paracast and the exclusive, member-only, After The Paracast bonus podcast, featuring color commentary, exclusive interviews, the continuation of interviews that began on the main episode of The Paracast. We also offer lifetime memberships! Flash! Take advantage of our lowest rates ever! Act now! It's easier than ever to susbcribe! You can sign up right here!

    Subscribe to The Paracast Newsletter!

The Footlocker-A Christmas Story

Free episodes:


Staff member
Many of you know me from my various radio programs or possibly from my time I spent in the UFO research arena. However I am also a writer. I have a published novel, Past Sins, and over the years wrote many many magazine articles as well as in other venues.

For years now, around the holidays, Christmas and Halloween I write holiday themed stories for the amusement of family and friends. Several years ago, prior to Christmas I recalled being a young trooper away from home in a war and recalled how damn lonely I was. Not just lonely but missing family, loved ones and friends. Then, I looked at myself at that moment and was inspired to write the following story. It is about a guy during the holidays ... who contained a terrible secret inside himself .. a secret that slowly was eating away at him, his wife and family. A burden he carried ever since he returned from Viet Nam.

Nam was my war, but I think this story will resonate with all of you that celebrate the Christmas Season. I offer it to you as a somewhat early holiday gift. I say Merry Christmas, so if you do not celebrate the season ... well I offer you good wishes anyway.


Excellent Christmas story!!! Thanks for sharing it here!

It reminded me of back when I was a junior high and high school kid in the 80s, and I read one Vietnam novel or memoir after another. It's been so long, and my memory isn't the greatest, that the only title I can remember is Chickenhawk, by Robert Mason. My favorite was the memoirs of a Marine machine gunner, but I just can't recall the title. Your battlefield descriptions are so very vivid: I'm sorry that you had to have first-hand experience with that war. We're awfully glad you came out in one piece!

When I was in high school, I wrote a short story about a Vietnam vet who was having a terrible time readjusting to life back home. He felt like an alien, really, since all of his family and old friends had changed so much, he had changed so much, and nobody could really understand him. He turned to alcohol to try to dull his emotional anguish, and at times when he'd hit the bottom, he caught himself actually wishing he could go back. That was where his buddies were, and they understood each other.

Many forgettable years pass by. Then, one day as he's walking down the main street of his home town, he passes a vacant lot and suddenly hears the unmistakable sound of a Huey overhead. He looks up, and sure enough, a Huey descends and lands in the vacant lot, blowing dust and debris everywhere. Nobody else on the street seems to notice what's going on. The vet takes a few steps towards the Huey, and he sees the young faces of his buddies--some of whom had died in combat years before--yelling and waving to him to hustle and get into the chopper. It was like watching ghostly images in a dusty photo album suddenly come to life.

He can't believe his eyes. He looks around to the other passersby, and they still are blind and deaf to this apparition. He looks back at the Huey, and the gunner's weapon suddenly erupts, firing tracers past him, seemingly trying to lay down covering fire for him against an enemy that is closing in on his back. His heart quickens, he takes one more long look back at his home town, he turns back to the chopper and sees that the pilot is starting to take off. In what feels like slow motion, he sprints across the gravel, broken bricks, and tangled rebar that litter the vacant lot. As he approaches the chopper, his buddies move back to make room for him, and with one great effort, he leaps up with all his might through the side opening, landing on the hard metal floor of the chopper and in the protective arms of his buddies.

I wish I had kept my notebook from back then. This was just a quick and very dirty summary of the story done late at night when I really should be in bed. Not really an uplifting story fit for the Christmas season, but it was awfully fun to take the trip down memory lane!

Thanks again for sharing the story, and above all, thank you for your service!!!!!!

Merry Christmas, Mr. Ecker!