email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day

I am not a veteran.  I came of that age during the Vietnam War and I was against that war.  In my 2nd year of college, the draft lottery started.  I gave up my college deferment and took my chance.

My number was something like 254.  They didn't reach that number and I was free of the draft after that.

I will not say that upset me.  I thought the war was dumb.  But I did not think less of those who did serve.  Had my number been called, I would have served (reluctantly).

My father was rejected for service in WWII for heart reasons.  I had many uncles who did serve and valiantly.  Most of them thought the Vietnam war was idiotic.

I sometimes wonder how differently my life would have gone had my Vietnam number been called.  I wouldn't have been a great soldier.  I abhor militaristic hierarchy.  But I would have done my best.  I would probably have been killed, because I do have a sense of getting out in front of situations.  But my number wasn't called and I am here today.  Some people I knew in college surely aren't.

Everyone has a view of how to live and what to die for.  I didn't choose to risk mine in Vietnam.  But I have no doubt that I would risk it to push someone out of the path of a speeding truck or in stopping a fight.  Its all where you decide you would risk death.

I thank those who decide to risk theirs and serve in war.  To each their own...

1 comment:

Megan said...

Mark - I've never had to face the possibility of being asked to go to war - which is just as well, because I don't think I could do it. I don't think I have the mental strength. The military hierarchy would have driven me bananas during training so that by the time I arrived at the front, I'd be dangerously crazy and probably of no use to anyone very much.

There are three people in my life that I would risk my life for - give my life - for without a second thought. Not really sure what I would find myself doing in an emergency - such as the speeding truck - for a stranger or mere passer-by.

(not very courageous)
Sydney, Australia