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Modern Soldiers posted 08 July 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionModern Soldiers by alhana, Auditor

Those who have the most right to brag, rarely do so.

My father was DRAFTED to Viet Nam. He was a college graduate, but from a very poor farmer family. He didn't have the connections to get him out of the country or to get him a desireable assignment. He is flat footed (makes his feet weak for marching) and legally blind in his right eye (he can't fire at a target for shit). If he had been alive during WWII, they would not have even let him volunteer to fight. However, he is a humble man. He never bragged about his service, he was not proud of being involved in that conflict. Yet, it made him stronger. He always hated guns and he doesn't even hunt. They tried to make him an officer, but he washed out of OT, which actually saved his life, as 2nd Lt. had the highest causality rate of all officers. Another stroke of good fortune that saved him from the Insanity of the Jungle was that they needed a clerk and because he had been to college, they traded his gun for typewriter when he landed in Nam. He got to live out the horrors of this war by typing field records, death certificates, and family notifications.

This gentle man came home from Viet Nam and landed in California in 1969. He did not kill a single person in Viet Nam. He didn't even want to be there. Yet after getting off the plane in San Diego, he had to ride the bus to Northern California to meet his fiance in San Fransico. A woman sat next to him on the whole trip and cursed at him, calling him a baby killer and a rapist. He said nothing as he rode, knowing that this woman was venting her own anger at something she did not understand.

He courted my mother by letters that crossed the Pacific Ocean. He only speaks of these things when I ask and even then he is still guarded. He cried about this once in public, when my brother took him to see the Traveling Wall Monument. He has never taken any of the discounts or benefits he could get as a veteren. I think he would rather forget about the inhumanity of this war than require others to acknowledge his sacrifice by giving him discounts and acolades. I think that our servicemen and women deserve our respect and I think we are much better about giving them appreciation for what they do. But those who have to ask and make a point of their "service" make light of those who truly deserve and do not ask. view post


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