Dateline March 31, 2017
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
For some reason I cannot write well this night. I am working on another segment of the Vietnam odyssey, Thirty Days Has September, but came to the river in the bottom of that valley and then lost my way. Not then, but now. Why won’t my memory bring it back like it has done so much of the rest of the story so far?
I know what happened, that’s not the problem. It’s how it happened in analytical detail that’s difficult. Of course I cannot remember exact dialogue, except for some parts that remain as stark and outlined as ever. Casey’s whacked out comments and much of Gunny’s wisdom. Tag lines carried through life. Armed Forces Radio playing rock and roll to heat-seal far away Vietnam jungle scenes into memory banks like fish sticks neatly stacked in waiting boxes.
I’ve been thinking about Trump and our country, as I work away in the fetid jungles of Vietnam from my cool and remote office. There are a lot of likenesses that have transferred forward through the years, almost entirely because of their backward biological foundations. Fighting for survival while trying not to show or let anybody know about the governing monster of fear…not knowing that everyone else is doing the same thing.
Is everyone afraid of what Trump might do, and just how far the right wing republicans might go to make all of us and our children little better than bond slaves to current billionaires and their spawn? Can there really be totally inexperienced children advising the president on national and international affairs that effect everyone in the world? Was it not tough enough to do the same thing myself in on a tiny scale in comparison? You can kill other people to eliminate them and part of the fear, and you can get used to doing that, at least in the short term. Is that what’s going on here?
I see the same levels of racial hatred, good against evil and stupidity against intellect going on right now in general that I experienced so long ago in specific. Are we all inside my company and mired down into fearful positions with the enemy everywhere…inside and out? I think into the night, promising myself to get up early and get back in the groove.
Here’s something, up-lifting…to get you and me through the night…
Featured Image Flight of the Muse courtesy of Paul Bond, Artist
Some similarities in our lifetime Jim, I too worked as a cop for three years until I had lung surgery, had to move on because of profile change. Also worked with many in the GOP, met Dole several times along with the Bushes, Cheney and Newt. Don’t share your opinion as to who made this nation worse though.
Neither Bushes were conservative by any means and got along real well with Bill Clinton and they governed a lot like him as well.
Knew Dick Cheney for many years and he was a man that truly loved his country and our Constitution. I don’t fault him one bit for his advice or the many jobs he performed in our government and very well, I might add. Contrary to what many said about him, he was not a war monger, but was obsessed with national security and he believed in winning wars, when we had to go to war. What I liked most about him, was that he said what he believed no matter whether it was politically acceptable or not. Cheney was a no nonsense man after my own heart and he was and is a true patriot!
Yes, I knew Dick Cheney too and you are aware that I do not share your opinon of him…whatsoever.
But I am happy that you write on here and I’m not going to go against you or what you believe.
We could have some deep conversations about the type of man Dick Cheney is and was Jim. He was part of our generation when it came to politics. Without a doubt, he was part of the establishment culture as well. You had to be in those days, in order to be part of the national leadership.
However, his opinions were highly sought after by at least three U.S. presidents that I knew and for a good reason. Cheney set the standard for national security, more then any other leader I knew back in those times. He stood by his convictions and they were valid during his day, under the political circumstances. Stubborn yes, adamant at times yes, but in most cases he was right!
Like you, I am no longer the standard bearer for political ideology as it has gotten out of hand in both political parties. However, I will support those whom I believe were and are right, concerning problems in our nation and around the globe. I admire leaders who stand for what they believe, no matter how their lives turn out and Dick Cheney was one of those men.
I think your feelings about Dick Cheney are based on personal experience. I don’t think I’ll ever get over his
refusal to serve our country in Vietnam and I did not with him which did not endear me to him at the time.
I understand there are other things in life and I have moved on from that.
Thanks for illuminating me on why you believe what you believe…
Agree that Cheney did get some draft deferments, however Clinton did the same thing, so who was worse? At least he did not go to Red Square and flaunt his love for the communist on May Day, like Bill and Hillary Clinton did.
I served my time in the Vietnam War twice, but don’t resent others for not doing so. People serve their country in many different ways and I am thankful for that.
I don’t mind the regular guys who did not go. I just don’t want that for my leadership and it has nothing to do with Bill or Hillary. Bill was the same but not that phony chickenhawk
macho crap…and it is the macho crap of men who’ve never fought and don’t get it at all that men who have fought are simply not like that at all.
Cheney I do not hate becuase of his avoidance. I don’t like that. I hate him because I found him in person to be a flaming asshole. He did not
like me and I did not like him. Bush Sr. was right about him and Bush Jr. came to understand that. Bush Sr. was the best president I ever worked for.
Sorry to hear about your relationship with Cheney, I never had any problems with him.
Bush Sr. was a diplomat all the way and knew how to treat the people who looked after his security. He was a gentleman and that is more then I can say for most politicians. When I found out that he and his sons were globalist, I felt betrayed by the Bushes. To me, that is as bad as selling out our Republic and unforgivable in my book.
Dick did not like Vietnam vets and it wasn’t because we held him in any kind of contempt.
Just the reverse. He thought and expressed it that we had been the dumb guys for going and that never
set well with any of us. That Sr. sold out later on is true, but not while he was V.P. when I reported to him.
Then he was great. Bush Jr. was a piece of work. Period.
Semper fi, my friend,
If my memory serves me correctly it 24-12-2016 when I first became aware of your Odyssey of your Vietnam experience. I read the chapter that had just posted, which assumed would be more of the same whitewashed BS I’ve read too many times before, and decided to give it a shot. I think it was the way it was introduced that drew me in. Seems like it was some part of the 8th day or night. I couldn’t stop there. I had to go back to the beginning that evening and found myself reading and re-read in until it was dawn breaking the next day. Your style of writing seems to be a sort of addiction to me (not a bad thing) as I find myself daily waiting for the next chapter to post or constantly looking for short story to fill the void.
Thinking of your Sturgis story as I write this. Have made that run three times through the years. Some of the greatest men and women one could ever meet.
Not hard to see that life’s hard experiences is what brings a profound meaning to all you write. Some of it can be hard to swallow yet the truth in all of it seems to bring liberating resolve to many unanswered questions of years past.
You may not see it but you are as much, maybe more, of a leader through your publishing as you were back in the Valley.
Well Jack, the compliments don’t get much better than what you just wrote!
I’m not sure about leadership to this day. The fine line between getting others to do what you need them
to do…and being seen to be doing that is tough. People don’t take instruction or direction well.
That’s just a part of being human. We feel we are the best judge of our survival potential…each and every
one of us almost without fail. thanks for the ‘leader’ moniker and thanks for the support by writing it on here.
Take a deep breath, brother and keep on trucking. Regardless of which idiot in either party is President, the Republic will survive. We’ve gone through much worse in our history. Hell, you and I went through one of them. Take the long view (and get us back to the Ashau– for some of us, your next installment is the biggest and best thing we have to look forward to).
Yes, I understand what you are saying. I am doing the best I can in weathering my republican party’s rather
strange run over the past twenty years or so. I was the Madison Wisconsin campaign manager for Bob Dole so very long ago.
Now I don’t campaign anymore. Like you and the expiration thing…funny.
Thanks for the words of encouragement and I shall endeavor to persevere…
The Bible says there is no new sin under the sun, and there isn’t. It isn’t Democrats or Republicans it has always been the evil in men’s hearts. Just like I see the same war we fought being played out in the Middle East. Someone wants what someone else has. 28.5 years as a State Trooper and everything thing I dealt with boiled down to me over you, mine first, I’m more important. Always has been, always will be. There will never be peace in the world or in the land as long as evil dwells in the hearts of men.
I know best, just listen to me, do what I say, I have your best interest at heart, trust me.
I love your sense of humor Butch. I was a cop too, for awhile.
Fired later on, but what the hell, not for hurting anybody.
I got fired because we got a new chief and he didn’t like Vietnam vets.
Sent me to a shrink (25 year old female) with my war record and that was that!
Cops, at least the ones I served with, had terrific if droll senses of humor.
I loved some of the work.
The long shifts where nothing happened in a small town were rotten though.
Thanks for your comment.
I like men by seeing both friend and enemies. Also, degree of gratitude and love for the common man. Only God knows what part Trump plays. Nevertheless, the world is not head in the right direction. The elites have all the experts with their algorithms of the future. I see freedom surrendered for security. And just who are the fear mungers that want to control us so badly? Worse I see their agendas as base and evil. Do good while there is still light
All we can do is rail against injustice and hope our little amount will make a difference.
So much competition and so much selfishness in truth, however, almost all of it totally lied about.
We do what we can if we have a modicum of honor…and that’s something one either develops over time or
one does not.
Thanks for the comment and the reading…
And it is a challenge to tell the stupidity from the intellect and the racial hatred from the liberator and the liberators from the oppressors, then and now. My conclusion is the human condition has not changed much from then to now because humanity struggles to take advantage of the past lessons. At a funeral of a friend today his wife asked me, “what do I do now?” My only thoughts to share were to hold on to the good stuff, the good memories and take life one day at a time. Peace Brother, the fog will burn off and a new day will give you a new start.
Thank you for your straight and true comment. I muddled my way on through and am about to stand in front
of that Bong Song one more time with my ragtag bunch of murderous Marines. It’s not as hard to write as it
is to get right. Funny thing to say. I am pretty damned exacting about what I will let get onto the pages
now. Thanks for the good solid words of wisdom. I wonder what you told that wife in detail…
Jim! At times I feel as you do. Knowing that I saw certain events and by the Grace of God and Marine training lived through them but they are jumbled at times in my mind. At those times I tend to pet my scars and remember the brave men I had the privilege to serve with who paid the ultimate price and at the same time i count my blessings of my grandson and the comrades that i share the rest of my life with and I return to a level place for awhile but never far from the hills and valleys that forged me into what I am
Well, Captain, I too have those scars, although I don’t notice them so much anymore.
That period when I was hit so bad, from there on through arising from the dead almost a year
later, is one foggy place of strange recollections. But here I am, writing away on a subject I’ve only
handled in short stories or tangentially before. And I’m at it on and off every day. Different feelings from
that. thanks for your comment and for making it on here…
James, so many of us have gone through enough hell for one lifetime. To see the divide that currently wants to destroy what we worked to defend grow without restraint is a terrible thing. Why there is no middle ground is a mystery to me. He said, she said doesn’t fit well when a single united answer is what is needed. I try to discuss and understand but am normally met with aggravation and disdain. I even accepted the fact of alternative lifestyles, that was met with “you need to change more”. I’m starting to think we need to prepare for dark times to come. I guess what I’m saying, in short, is that we’re on the same page. Now, I’ve fixed all your problems, fix mine. Seriously, wish we had a magic fix.
Walt McKinley. A special contemplative kind of man. Yes, you are here for me and I would hope to be for you,
although I do not think dark and dreadful times are coming. I think we will right this boat and get on with things.
We will go to space because that’s all that’s left and hell, it’s ceded to us for all we know, anyway. Yes,
we will probably continue to be the bully of the world Cheney and Bush made us, and Obama did not draw back from…
as least for a while. But I think we’ll muddle on through…so here I am, destined to fix your problems. The next segment
went up a few minutes ago so I can be a bit more free with my time until I tackle the next one…
Only coming up on the fourteenth day. Not even half way through…
great selection sir….. for me, I find myself flashing back to Dire Straits’ Brothers in arms. It seems to me that we have finally come a full 180 degrees from where we were in the 60’s. From near blind trust in our government and the news media to near total mistrust in both, to the extent that we as a nation now seem hell bent on believing in Orwellian double speak and anonymous conspiracy theorists and hate mongers. It is quite a turnaround from the days when the brass claimed to have learned the lessons of Vietnam, well enough to boldly say, “never again.” While I do feel that we as a nation will survive the current presidency, I have serious doubts as to whether or not we will long survive our lack of congressional soul……hope you get things sorted out enough to return to telling your story. I for one am looking forward to reading it, painful though it may be…..
The segment is going up right now K. I did not intend for this little period of weakness to go public
but somehow it did. They are not all easy as some. Just the way it is, sort of like over there.
But I’m back in the groove and working away. Thanks for your bright, sensitive and caring words.
Hell, maybe that’s why I’m back!