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A simple haircut changed the life of one Vietnam War veteran. Fifty years later, he's hoping to reconnect with the woman who gave him money for a haircut.
Tom Jameson of North Platte was severely wounded by a sniper while serving his country in Vietnam in 1966. During Jameson’s recovery, he was moved to Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines and remained in the hospital there for a period of time. During the move from Vietnam to the base, none of his personal possessions made the trip.
One of the nurses who cared for him was an Air Force nurse from the Norfolk, Nebraska area.
"Just knowing there was someone from Nebraska helped brighten the days," Jameson said. "The nurses were so busy and the slightest attention was so welcome."
During his care, this nurse asked if he needed anything. Jameson said he would simply like a hair cut. However, with no money or belongings, he could not afford one, so she gave him the money for the hair cut.
After completing his service, Jameson - a 1962 graduate of Tryon High School - returned to North Platte and began working for Northwestern Bell. He retired after 32 years and owns some ranch land near his home town, where his brother still ranches and also owns a construction business.
Yet after all these years, Jameson has not forgotten the kindness this nurse showed to him.
"As a kid you take those acts of kindness for granted," he said. "Over the years, those acts grow larger and larger and are appreciated so much more, and I continue to appreciate her kindness every day."
He says it has always been in the back of his mind to find her, but recently the ball got rolling with the help of his friend, Steve Evans, who sent letters to American Legions all across Northeast Nebraska, including one to Neligh. That letter found its way to the Antelope County News.
"I have known Tom for only a couple of years," Evans said. "But once you meet Tom, you always have a friend."
Evans and Jameson met through Rod Wright, the owner of Wright Livestock of North Platte.
"A few of us were sitting around talking one day and Tom told his story about the nurse and said he would some day like to find her," Evans said. "Others encouraged him, but being shy, he thought he would never get around to it. So I volunteered and we got things moving."
Calling it "a long shot," Evans began writing letters to American Legion posts around the Norfolk area, asking if they could help in finding this nurse.
"It may work out or it may not," Evans said. "But I can feel that lump in my throat already if they would ever get a chance to shake hands or share a hug."
What would Jameson say to this woman? Despite having 50 years to prepare, he's still a little uncertain.
"I am not sure what I would say to her," Jameson said. "Other than, 'It has been a long time and I have never forgotten how kind you were to me.' "