Sunday, June 12, 2011

Vietnam -- We were the original breakfast club

    To:  General William Childs Westmoreland
From:  Everyone who was between 19 and 24 and was E-1 to E-5

Dear Sir;

It has come to our attention that you may be concerned and confused as to why we smoke weed, overdose on beer, run around topless in broad day light and pretty much question every order someone who is 10 years older or of higher rank than ourselves shoves under our noses.

While it is true we are ornery, hate wearing a military uniform, love having a good time, go to church, have this insatiable desire to left alone and have sexual thoughts about every seven minutes, we still get things done.

We come to you in all shapes and sizes, all colors of skin, all levels of education. We are writers, poets and artists, we have PhDs, we have GT scores from 60 to 150, we love listening to Credence Clearwater Revival and we don't want to be here.

But we are and we'll do our best to make the time go away as quickly as possible.

I'm sure from your perspective, this all sounds pretty horrible. The truth does have a way of slapping you around like finding a live cobra snake in your bed.

Based on your impressive long life as a well disciplined officer and leader, you've seen your fair share of us and know we either get out and get just as disciplined as you over time or we stay in and join your flock.

There's just so many of us now all in one spot and we're just about the most unruly lot you've ever seen in your life. You can blame it on the school system. They taught us we had the right as Americans to be individuals.

They didn't teach us how to be soldiers.

Welcome to Vietnam!

Sir, unless you have a problem with this, we do burn your human waste, we fill your sand bags, we paint your rocks, we peal your potatoes, we go on guard duty, we get shot at, we watch men die, we have no idea why the enemy loves firing 122mm rockets at us,  know when women are in the immediate vicinity, we brush our teeth and swallow a pill the size of a 30 odd 6 bullet.

Could you get rid of chicken man?  Guess that's too much to ask.

We make sure the NVA doesn't tear us a new asshole, go on patrol, watch other friends die or are so mangled they wish they had, and get fired at by our own men and helicopters.

Pardon my French, sir, who was the freaking idiot who thought clean pressed fatigues, spit shined shoes, and polished brass in a combat zone?

Does that have anything to do with our ability to kill the little yellow man?

Why do we use choppers whose rotor blades can be heard coming as far as 5 miles away think that's the element of surprise?

Its surprises, us sir, that we have enough common sense to realize you don't ever compromise your position as that is the element of surprise. And always, always get the first punch in. We learned that from our street fighting days.

You should know that based on our own intelligence gathering process that you are underestimating the intelligence of your enemy as they are constantly listening to our radio chatter and the civilians working on post are constantly ratting us out.

What do we know?

We love loud music, wild people like the Rolling Stones and have people with emotional issues -- they like Simon and Garfunkel.

Despite all the crap about segregation, the blacks sleep with the blacks, the Mexicans with the Mexicans, the Puerto ricans with the Puerto ricans, the refers with the refers, the mifia with the mifia, the alcholics with the alcholics and the undecided with the undecided.

Did I bother to mention this was by their choice and one us white boys forced on them.

Only ones left are....this may come as a shock to you ... the gays.

Is it true that the government was conducting genetic experiments with babies born in 1949?

We got some wide hipped guys with thin waists running around here with no hair on their chest and never shave...just asking.

We bleed like you, too. We've got cuts, bruises, and body parts missing. We breath oxygen. We party hard, and tell you to take your Army system and tell you to shove it up your ass.

That probably gets us into more hot water than anything else. Point is, we aint your boy scouts and this aint on jamboree.

We also die hard and in the process make our mothers weep, or friends cry and our world safer.

Isn't that what you wanted from us?

Hand me a gun, have the enemy come at me, he's going to drop like a turkey.

Speaking of witch, why is it that every patrol I go on, its the tallest guy that gets the job of carrying the radio?

You need to make a policy that the smallest guy -- about the size of boots and helmet on top -- should have to carry the radio.

You all take us too seriously, we're just a bunch of RAs and USes that either were too stupid to read the fine print or got drafted. We're just as confused as you are about us as we are about ourselves.

By the time you read this, some of us will be in body bags, some of us will be wounded in action, some of will be walking dead and die before our time from agent orange.

And some of us will live to tell our stories to our generation, our children's and even some of theirs.

We are your rag tags, you slackers, your goof balls and your heroes. And when it comes time to work as a team, no matter what hooch we come out of, sometimes kicking and screaming, we do work as a team without thinking of the consequences.

We get it done.

Well that pretty much sums up what I wanted to say.

Sincerely yours,

The Original Breakfast Club

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