We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I’ve nothing against the Woodstock get-together nor its good music.For those there who enjoyed the rain and mud, and those who addled their brains with drugs – most temporarily and some permanently, you’re welcome to it.What many object to is that Woodstock has been raised to an almost holy event to be honored as symbolic of our generation.Meanwhile, the far many more young people who wouldn’t have thought of attending, and the many more young people who weren’t there because they were serving in the armed forces, the hollow hallowedness attached by the media to Woodstock is seen as, as usual, blatantly one-sided and ignores the real sacrifices faced by others.
The VFW Magazinetells the tale of the 109 Americans killed in Vietnam during those four days in August 1969.
Time gushed with admiration for the tribal gathering, declaring: “It may well rank as one of the significant political and sociological events of the age.” It deplored the three deaths there—“one from an overdose of drugs [heroin], and hundreds of youths freaked out on bad trips caused by low-grade LSD.” Yet attendees exhibited a “mystical feeling for themselves as a special group,” according to the magazine’s glowing essay….
Meanwhile, 8,429 miles around the other side of the world, 514,000 mostly young Americans were authentically serving the country that had raised them to place society over self. The casualties they sustained over those four days were genuine, yet none of the elite media outlets were praising their selflessness….
So when you hear talk of the glories of Woodstock—the so-called “defining event of a generation”—keep in mind those 109 GIs who served nobly yet are never lauded by the illustrious spokesmen for the “Sixties Generation.”
Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Rennselaer, NY
A college professor friend who is authoring a book about those from NYC who did serve in Vietnam asked me to send him this, below, which I’ve kept in a scrapbook buried in my garage.The photo is me, in the center, leading a June 1968 Flag Day parade around my college campus, just before graduation.Soon after, I enlisted in the Marine Corps.During Woodstock, I was training to go on to Vietnam.The sentiments in the poem are those of another Marine, in Leatherneck Magazine, which mirrored my own.
Glad you chose to serve. I suppose we could look each other in the eye when the anthem plays at a baseball game. I served in the 80's and 90's. Less drawn out wars though some of the 'peacekeeping' and 'training' missions were a bit sharp. The point I think is to serve the country, to invest in it. I have little patience for the left because most of them hate this country the way it is; if only we were more like Sweden, they'd like it. I don't have a lot of patience for the hawkish suburban never-considered-serving right either.
Maybe what it is, is that I feel like I own part of this country as it owned me for a good few years. I have a lot of shares in U.S.A. Preferred stock, even; my buy-in has made my life rich in a lot of ways. This makes me impatient with people who buy a single share to show up at the shareholder meetings and bitch. Go to the directors' meeting and be hit up for a commercial loan to the business in the lean times, then tell me what you think about the company...
I was over there in support of Woodstock. Not that I knew it at the time. Well, point of fact, I was long gone from over there by the time of Woodstock.
Since the very beginning of this county it has always been the case that only a few take some things seriously. Always a lessor percentage than half. I really don't know how much more we could expect.
Yes, I've in the past talked about my service, unwisely, really. As no one truly cares about it. But I'll not knock, in public, those who chose a different path. That's freedom. Whether I like it or not.
I respect our civil liberties absolutely and get the relationship between fighting over there to preserve their right to despise us over here. I'm just sayin' there's nothing that requires me to hold in equal esteem people who generally despise military service (the left) and people who respect it but think it's a lot better that somebody else or somebody else's kids go do it - which describes many on the right. I lost a friend a few years back - a conservative buddy - who was unaware of my service. He lectured me one night on how stupid it was that anybody would voluntarily sign up and go get their asses shot at on behalf of others, and he informed me at great length that he'd never be such a moron. It's his absolute constitutional right to think that way, but it's my absolute right to think poorly of him and stop associating with him as a consequence of his spite toward one of my fundamental values. I normally don't flaunt my service but I refuse to do a martyr act or the patronizing 'I'll just hold my tongue while you uninformed people carry on' routine. I don't make a scene or even protest when somebody does this; I just manage to lose their phone number or email or find a reason to leave the party early. It's not something I care to explain to them, but I feel compelled to do this out of self respect, or perhaps because I'm a jerk. Either way, I don't put up with it.
I guess that in all my years of reading MF I hadn't realized that you'd served, Bruce. It's appreciated, even if you were USMC. That's okay, 'cause as they say, some of my best friends are Jarheads.
Thanks, also, to Jim and Luther.
Rob J 11Bravo,AlphaCo,4th/47th,9thInfDiv,USArmy Mobile Riverine Force RVN '68
Mk1Skipper- I probably owe you and/or your shipmates thanks for covering fire at one time or another. If you were around My Tho on Memorial Day in '68 you might have seen me wavin' so long on a dust-off on the way to Dong Tam. That earned me a couple of weeks in the hospital at Vung Tau and I never was able to walk down to that beautiful beach. To any dust-off pilots out there, special thanks. You other choppers pilots, who took us into a hot LZ or two, I guess I should thank you for that, too. :)
Hell, while I'm at it, thanks to all those medics and pretty nurses. Hope I haven't left out anybody.
Ah, memories of the good ol' days, huh?
I may have been in town...or rotated on one of the LSTs--can't remember for sure. I can't remember who we supported on inserts, extracts or fire support...SEALs, LRRPs, spooks...you were ALL BROTHERS to us! You called...we came! You don't owe us a thing...you've paid your dues in blood...and you are right about those pretty nurses!!! Those angels up at 3rd Field in Saigon were terrific! I was in their care in Aug-Sep '68 before coming home. One last note, a good friend was in 4/47 LRRPs, B. Daley, but he was before your time.