For The Vets

I honor my father’s generation, the guys who dragged the Nazis, the Fascists, and the Imperial Japanese Empire down to destruction,

and I bear no ill will towards the guys of the current generation who are fighting for something – who knows what – in Afghanistan (someone knows!).

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But on this Veterans’ Day, I particularly want to remember the brave G.I.’s of my own generation, the guys who refused to kill women and children in Viet Nam and went to prison for their belief in what was right.  They refused to pull the trigger on babies and old ladies to up the week’s body count, they saw for themselves how wrong the war in Viet Nam was, and they fought to tell America what we should have known all along.  Today I want to honor those brave G.I.s.

 

I can’t think of a better way to honor veterans today than to sit home and watch the 2006 documentary ‘Sir!  No Sir!’ If you’re in my generation, you’ll remember what really went down before terminal amnesia sets in.  If you’re younger, you can be inspired to mobilize against the power even if you feel powerless.  If you’ve been brought up to believe America is always right, always brave, always the good guys – like I was raised – you can honor the vets by growing up.

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5 thoughts on “For The Vets

  1. Thanks for the links Chris, I’m going to be busy reading, and remembering those days tonight.. Thanks again, also to Greg who counseled those who refused to pull the trigger.

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  2. I respect the ‘Nam vets who responded to a draft card, to some extent (though I am not sure they were all as high-minded as you suggest).

    The gung-ho enlistee’s another matter (and that still holds). Conscripts I salute (and maybe salute a few level-headed brass). Mercenaries, I don’t salute.

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      • Have you read Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried?

        Quite intense writing; what’s more, real–like it happened (perhaps embellished a bit), unlike the usual Ho-wood ‘Nam pipe dreams. Directors might at times show a row of palm trees going up in napalm, like, from a distance, or a few battle scenes; they don’t show the napalmed villagers themselves. Really the old battle newsreels shown during late 60s on CBS, more effective filmmaking than anything Georgie Lucas or Spielberg ever produced.

        O’brien’s sharp-eyed realism renders most literary soapopera or space opera meaningless. Of course, most ‘Mericans can’t handle real historical writing of any sort, as they can’t handle the truth.

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  3. I became of age when the draft was still going on. I never registered. At some point, I knew the shit would hit the fan, but rode it out. I received letters and visits from draft board people and even a letter from the FBI. Shortly thereafter, the draft was rescinded and I was, you might say, free as a bird.

    I was pretty much anti-military for the following 35 years, until my son Josh enlisted in the Navy as a corpsman. His rationale was that war was, unfortunately, inevitable and someone had to take care of the wounded. I admire him for that. He is, sadly, preparing for his first deployment as a “doc” with a marine division, destined for Somalia or Afghanistan and finally the east Asian coast.

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