Monday, October 21, 2019

A Question To My Military Brothers And Sisters - With A Coda

I was born in 1942.

That meant that I would graduate from college in 1960.

If I graduated from college.

About 1957 a couple of things happened.

Buddy Holley died and that was my second experience of grief: when Annie died was my first experience of grief.

But Annie’s death was years earlier.

The  other thing that was happening – somewhere around then – SEA (Southeast Asia) became a domino hallucinatory nightmare for United States containment policy.

I was – to allude to and quote, Jimmy Buffet, a “tranquil little child” in those years.

So I should not have had any bad feelings about, or even any knowledge of, the sinister creep of events in SEA.

But I did.

For some reason, I had some interest in, and therefore some idea of, what was going on in the world.

SEA specifically.

The US still had the draft.

Dien Bien Phu had morphed into “Cambodia” which, by 1957, was morphing back into “Vietnam” and I could see what was coming for me.

I was going to be given a gun and told to wander around some jungle to look for Communists.

I didn’t find that to be an attractive future.

So I went to college and did everything I could do not to flunk out.

Like study.

I had a GPA of 3.42 when I graduated.

I was pretty sure, in 1960, when I started all of that, that surely by 1964 all of that bullshit would have been settled and I could go off with Joe and Dave and see if the RF Trio was a viable entertainment vehicle.

To my horror, as ‘62 became ‘63 and then ‘64, the morph to Vietnam became an unavoidable – from the viewpoint of a draft age male – certainty.

I got lucky.

I qualified for USAF OTS and got my commission on 21 December 1964.

After that it was only a question of when, not if, I was going to Vietnam.

I didn’t volunteer – “career” officers did that; I didn’t like tempting fate; I knew I was going, I wanted fate to choose when and in what capacity.

It turned out that I went to Saigon for a year – November 1966 to December 1967.

I have written a memoir about all of that; it’s pretty short and pretty good.

Since donnie thinks it’s ok to have the G7 at his Dural property, I guess it’s ok for me to try to sell one of my memoirs in a patriotic blog post.

Anyway, all of the prose above here on the page is an attempt to try to define me to the audience that I hope might read this: THE AMERICAN MILITARY.

Because I have a question for you.

And it rumbles up out of everything that I have divulged about me, in the words above.

The question is: “How do you feel seeing our brothers and sisters (should be noted of many races and religions) pelted with rotten vegetables as they depart with their tails between their legs from Syrian Kurdistan”?

I am not aware of a debacle of this magnitude in American history.

Forget all the obvious multi-year downstream deleterious effects to the United States and to the World, of donnie’s jump-out-of-bed-and-do-a-tweet form of world “leadership”; just think what your drinking buddy would think about you if you just left him or her swinging in the wind.


I received some Facebook comment that caused me to post this as a responding Facebook comment.

It seems to me to be a useful addition to the blog post that caused that to happen.

“Remember: 90% or so of republicans think that everything this idiot does is exactly what they want - he has America exactly on the right track; that sort of disconnect with reality presages a frightening reckoning.

“Saying that the Constitution being invoked is a witch hunt, or a lynching, or treason is so much like something that one might expect on SNL causes that same "one" to be unable to draw any other conclusion than that the supporters of trump are all clowns like him.

“But I don't find that to be comforting; or supporting my apparently elitist viewpoint.

“I have always believed in a give and take sort of government and political system, a system that is made up of lots of people with whom I don't agree, but with whom I share a set of commonly held beliefs and touchstones, and with whom, therefore I can trustingly live and be able to continue to believe in the miracle that used to be America.”

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