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.
Roger, I know exactly how you feel. I didn't do all the things you did but I was right there with you anyway. I don't regret all of my youth, but I regret that part that Roger and I played for a few years and like you, I regret not joining any of the armed forces. It would have been good for me. If I had done it, I hope it would have been good for our country.
God bless all who served no matter what they did and regardless whether they wanted to or not. That heartfelt sentiment seems pretty cheap when I think of it now.
I was too young for Vietnam but my brother was not. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy, became a Pilot, and was lost on a combat mission over Laos in 1968. Until well into my mid-twenties - maybe longer - I was very bitter with the Roger Simons of the world who not only were above serving in Vietnam but also went out of their way to denigrate those that did. In the sixties they were more open about their contempt but as time passed into the seventies and eighties, it became a common understanding that Vietnam vets were troubled, addicted, red necks, and generally not acceptable in polite society. So, the best solution was to steer a wide course around them, don't engage them in conversation, and let them mingle with their own crowd at the VFW hall. The silent treatment did work against the veterans for a long time. If everyone thinks you're crazy, you may start believing it yourself. But I think that era is behind us now and many of the Vietnam vets are only now coming to be recognized for the heroes that they were and are. A truly excellent book on this subject is "Stolen Valor - How the Vietnam Generation was Robbed of its Heroes and its History" by B.G. Burkett.
I was too young for Vietnam, and I would have never have passed the physical, anyway. I was still angry at the people like Roger who didn't understand what we were up against. The people who protested and burned and bombed in this country became the University professors who turned a generation against their fellow Americans. I still cringe at the "Don't trust anyone over 30" mentality of so many of them.
I am glad Roger was able to wise up. I have read a lot of what he has written in the last decade and he is always thoughtful and and thought provoking.
Thanks Roger, I have needed to read that for a long, long time.