Monday, May 23, 2011

Vietnam -- Too stubborn to remember, too young to know, too quick to forget

As I grow closer to finish adding the last chapters of this work, I find myself in a world where the men around me are in their 20s and 30s.  They know little to nothing about Vietnam.  They know we fought there, they know its someplace in southeast Asia. But they don't know the stories.

Those who do have been fed spit shinned stories with a thread of truth and a lot of vague, distorted fluff.

No, I didn't die.  No, I didn't kill anyone. No, I wasn't a pilot. And more importantly, no, I didn't hate the Vietnamese.

Truth stings like the stench of human waste mixed with kerosene burning nearby and filling your nostrils with the acrid smell. You cannot take back anything. You cannot bring back the dead or remove senses experiences, the humiliation or the degregation a Vietnam Veteran went through.

Those things got burried, like a dog burries a bone in the back yard, in the back of your mind. Either that orr it drove you crazy with pain and sorrow.

It is my hopes through all of this to paint a truer picture of the life and times of a soldier who felt betrayed by a system with no conscious.  A system above the law.  A system that has, is, and will be doing what it pleases without retort.

Some of the articles here seem rude and crude. I make no apologies. There were times when rude and crude gets the job done.

I pray that all of you -- both Vietnam Veterans, their spouses and their children -- both find something here worth reading and leave my world I've painted for you with this:

We may have died young, but we lived with the strength of steel.  We may have come back in various percentages of complete body and mental facalties, but the strength of our soul triumphs.

As for me, I may be getting old, but I ain't dead yet.

My last thought here.  The other day my younger brother equated me as being older than dirt. I retorted with, older than dirt implies I'm heading in the direction of the grave. Call me younger than sunshine.

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