Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Date With Vietnam

“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country "

John F. Kennedy - January 20th 1961

I believed what President Kennedy said in those words, and my parents and family backed me up on it.  It was strange, my relationship with The Nam I mean. Even when under fire, even when I was scared and feared for my life, I didn't question why America was there, why I was there.

Back then, so many of us just believed our parents, we had faith in America and we believed that we were doing the right thing.

I entered the Army with that doing the right thing attitude. So
much so, that I signed up for a second tour because I felt our
military presence was making a difference. By my second tour there, the Army felt more like home than The World did, the place where I decided I found my niche in life, like I finally found a place where I belonged.

A lot of guys back then didn't feel that way though. The ones
who had been drafted absolutely hated it there. The World was all they talked about, it dominated every conversation they had.

They talked incessantly about what they had been doing in The World when they were forced to come to Nam by the draft, their families back there, and most of all, how to get back to The World and resume their former lives. They talked about it because I think they were afraid if they stopped talking, then The World would become lost to them and they'd never make it back.

The World never held a lot of meaning for me, as a kid, so I
didn't long for it, pine for it, like many of the guys did. I had a good childhood, but my teen years had been turbulent, so, for me, leaving The World wasn't such a traumatic event. In fact, leaving The World was a big adventure for me and I was loving it, so far.