The ‘lucky ones’
Fifty years after Vietnam’s bloodiest battles, veterans gather for what could be a final reunion
Story by Michael E. Ruane Published on April 29, 2017
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1st Lt. Victor David Westphall III , 28, of Albuquerque, killed May 22, 1968, at An Dinh in a battle that claimed 25 Marines, 12 from his company. After his death his parents and brother built a memorial to him in rural Angel Fire, N.M., among the earliest such tributes to the fallen veterans of Vietnam.
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Read the list of the young men in the sidebar of this story.
Then, tell me how you stand on “war”. Any war!
And, when you get all done, tell the “chicken hawk” politicians and bureaucrats to get us out of the Middle East and turn the Pentagon into a true “Department of Defense”.
I was lucky. I was state-side for my “term of enlistment”. Of my two best friends at Manhattan Prep, one went and came back different and one evaded dying in highway wreck. The saddest part is that I never saw my “evader” buddy and he died a few miles from where I was stationed.
Makes me sad. But I’d never criticize the folks who went or the folks who evaded. I WILL criticize all the phonies — “chicken hawks”, politicians and bureaucrats who will send youngster to die for their vanity, the Military Industrial Complex for profiting on those bodies, and the ersatz astroturf “anti-war” crowd that comes out only when there is an R in the White House. A plague on all your houses.
I reiterate the concept, that I heard best stated by video / podcaster Jason Stapleton https://jasonstapleton.com, “I’m not anti-war; I’m pro-peace”. He describes what war should be and it’s ugly. A lot of people will die. I agree that we should be “pro-peace” up until: our children’s lives or ours are at risk, our liberties are threatened, or there is NO other path to take. Then, if you’re at “war”, then be at “war”. Not this “shadow war” that “We, The Sheeple” don’t care about, want to pay for, and most certainly don’t want to fight in.
“Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Whose gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.” Colonel Jessep in A Few Good Men played by Jack Nicholson
So too, if you’re so all hot and bothered to go to war, as Jason Stapleton say, “go buy a ticket, grab a gun, and go” and then you can urge — not force — other to go to. Be very lonely out there when you have to stand up and fight for what you believe in. Much easier to have the Gooferment send other people’s children to die in your stead. All so you can be “patriotic” and “though on defense”?
About the worst epithet that I can label someone with is “chicken hawk”.
Let’s be like Switzerland and MYOB!
Dona Nobis Pacem
Requiescat In Pacem, you fallen heroes.
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