Friday, October 23, 2009

WHEN I WAS MUCH YOUNGER


Late at night I often reflect back on my time in the military. It seems like that was a lifetime away and now it was. I was in SEA in 1972, over 37 years ago. My reflection is that I don't remember a lot about it because I put it in a different part of my brain. I did my part and went on with my life. Most veterans are like that. My dad and uncle didn't talk about their time and I don't make a practice of it.

Once in a while, it comes up in my classes and I embellish a bit because I want the students to know that service is honorable and that the sacrifices of veterans ensured their way of life. Veteran's day is coming up and I'll make a presentation to the students about sacrifice and what it means to be an American. Then I'll put it away in my brain space and go on with my life.

Then out of the blue something crops up that makes me remember. My mom called tonight to check on my wife. It made me a little guilty that she called me instead of me calling her. When I was away in SEA I was young and didn't get the pressure it put on my family. One day I received a letter from home. I eagerly opened it and inside I found a piece of paper inside on which my mom had written "Dear mom and dad" and it ended there. My mom had also thoughtfully added a stamped and self-addressed envelope. I'm not the smartest guy in the world, but I got the message.

The pressure on the families is immense and often underestimated. The veterans have it tough, but the families have to wait. That's much worse.

7 comments:

Tapline said...

L&O teach, I just completed a commment and went to sent it and the address was on my grandaughters account...don't know how it got there, buttttt.....I have been where you are talking about.....It comes back when you least expect it. I too was there and it does creep up on you....The sad part of your post is that the ones who are in harms way, as was the men and women in Iraq and Afganistan cannot help their situation only the politicians can do that, but OH!!! how they love to play when our military are in harms way.....THAT is what really burns my Axx.....The unfortulnate thing is they, the majority of politicians have not been in the troops shoes and therefore cannot relate to what their going through......I ramble....stay well...

Law and Order Teacher said...

Tap,
As usual you get to the heart of things. It does creep up on you, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm proud and I'm sure you are too. We did our best and that's what counts. Good day.

PRH....... said...

The reason I didn't spend another year or two in Vietnam was the family....Mom and to a lesser extent, Dad, would have been stressed.

I wasn't gung-ho for the war, but as you well no, duty in SEA was less "Chicken Stuff" than stateside duty for Sky Cops.

I cam home, to SAC...making my last 21 months miserable to say the least..SAC was no place for a free spirit like me :)

PRH....... said...

You can tell I'm beat...comma wrong place, "no" instead of "know'..but you get the drift Steve.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Pat,
I went to an ATC base. No planes all students. It was real chicken stuff. Reveille and Retreat all formal, chrome pisspots, white ascots and shoelaces, etc. SEA was a lot less formal, a little more dangerous, but less crap.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

LAOT, I just leaned of your wife's injury while I was visiting T101. Please accept my best wishes for her full and speedy recovery.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Thank you and thanks for your visit.