I’m just sitting here, sipping on some water and watching it rain outside. For entertainment, I turned on the news and flipped it up to the CNN channel.
I keep them turned on a lot, mostly because they are more middle-of-the-road than the other news channels.
Anyway, I had fired up my PC to work on cleaning up my Hubs, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a commercial for a Veterans support group.
The difference with this one was the fact that they were using a clip from a battle in NAM, along with the sound effects.
It was just a momentary 2-3 seconds of a clip that was part of a 30-second commercial.
But, it happened again!
I was back in time to the late sixties, with all of my old friends and relatives of my generation, sitting around; drinking beer and talking about the war.
You see, my family was poor or lower lower middle class, whichever you want to call is, I don’t really care!
But, we, and my friends, were the people in this economic group were the ones that went to war and wore the uniforms, and justServed our Country.
And so many friends and some of my relatives, were the ones that never came back from NAM …… Alive!
I myself, served in the Navy, and I was never in-country, so obviously, no one ever tried to shoot me, or impale me on sharpened bamboo sticks dipped in excrement.
No one booby-trapped my friend’s body with a hand grenade, just to get one more American kill, if I moved the mauled body.
No one kicked me out of a helicopter and told me to keep my head down and “run like Hell!” while the CONG were spraying us with live fire and mortars.
No one had been brainwashed so well that they wrapped explosives around their body and walked into my favorite Saigon Bar and detonated themselves on the chance that they would kill a few of us American Imperialists!
No, I didn’t watch my buddies get killed in front of my eyes.
You see, I was thousands of miles away working on an Aircraft Carrier, and occasionally, I got letters from home about my buddies and relatives being killed, or wounded, by such acts.
But I did serve my Country and these great guys were a part of my life, then and still.
I guess that might be one of the reasons that I am still here on the crazy world of ours; to write this little story and perhaps awaken others who have forgotten. You see;
I Served and I Remember!
I Served and I Remember!
I served my Country,
When the Press hated me and my Comrades!
When College Students Spit on my Uniform,
because it was a Cool thing to do!
When I couldn’t get a ride home for the weekend,
because people did not pick up Military Hitch-hikers,
All of a Sudden!
When the USO couldn’t get volunteers!
When the Red Cross volunteers spoke to you,
and your family as if you were second class citizens!
When the Bars in Navy ports had signs that said;
No Dogs or Sailors allowed!
When you HAD TO go on Liberty with a Buddy,
in your own Country,
When you finally just had to give up and,
carry a bag with civilian clothes,
to change out of your Uniform,
and into Civvies, as soon as you left the Base,
Yes, I Remember!
I Remember Ray,
who died after only a couple of hours,
when his truck was blown up on Highway One!
I Remember Butch,
who came back so Fucked Up,
that he killed himself on a Motorcycle,
one night leaving a Bar,
after only two years back!
I Remember my Cuz,
a kind, simple, Country Boy,
who served, on base, in Nam,
and was assigned the job to,
prepare and pack the Bodies,
and often just Body parts,
for shipment back to the States,
and was so screwed up and scared,
that he tried not to go to sleep every night for years!
He would just stay up and drink himself into a Stupor!
I Remember Mike,
who, after his first couple of drinks,
would start telling the story,
of having to Frag a new idiot officer,
after everyone decided that the dumb-ass,
was going to get all of them killed,
unless something was done!
And He drew the straw!
I Remember all of the Kids that I grew up with,
that served when their number came up,
and especially those that never came back.
I Remember those that came back,
but never really left Nam,
and were just Fucked Up
for the rest of their lives!
I Remember that most of them were
Poor, or middle class
and they had no such option as;
a Slick Doctor,
a Slick Lawyer,
or a Ticket to Canada!
I remember going out and getting Drunk,
with so many of them,
the night before they left for Duty,
just because they were Scared!
I remember the friend that came back,
with No Legs,
and how Happy he was the day,
that they modified a car for him to drive,
and He no longer had to depend on others!
Yes, I Remember!
These Few, and So Many others like them!
I Served too ….. I was in the Navy!
My Dad was in the Navy!
My Brothers were in the Navy!
My Son was in the Navy!
Yes! I Remember!
And I Hope You Do Too!
While You are;
Eating that burned Hot Dog!
And Sipping on that cold Beer!
And Watching your Kids running around,
Driving you Crazy!
Yes! Go Crazy a Little Bit, Yourself!
It will only take a Minute!
by Don Bobbitt, 2010
Copyright, Don Bobbitt, 2010, All Rights Reserved.
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