Fun_People Archive
5 Jun
War is Heck

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon,  5 Jun 100 15:43:12 -0700
To: Fun_People
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Subject: War is Heck

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
Forwarded-by: Kevin Johnsrude <>

Somewhat ironically this young rookie NCO asked me what I did in Vietnam.
Sometimes I forget to realize that there are a lot of young people who may,
or may not be in the military, who really don't have a grasp of what the
average soldier did in Vietnam.  However, this would all become very clear
to me in the next few minutes right there in the PX cash register line.

My response back to the young man was a question, and in so doing, I
thought I might learn something from him.  I said, "Now, what do you really
think I was doing in Vietnam, with many other soldiers, besides being fully
occupied with trying to stay alive?"  His lack of response told me
everything I needed to know.

Suddenly, from somewhere in my memory, or from somewhere in my past, like
a slowly dying animal my subconscious attitude, which is apparently bad,
reared up out of me and I made one of the greatest mistakes that any soldier
can make in "Today's Army."  I made a spontaneous, Politically Incorrect,
utterance and blurted out, "Most of the time between my nineteenth and
twenty first birthday I spent killing Gooks."  I felt my face flush after
saying that, not because I was so politically incorrect, but the thought
within me of my life, between 1969 and 1971, just came crashing right out
of nowhere and it slammed me in the face.  I don't think of Vietnam all
that much, I have sort of thrown it over my shoulder and tucked it away,

It seems to me, in a strange way, that it all never happened.  The look on
the young NCO's face was understanding, and he appeared to be in some state
of awe at what I just said to him.  Not so, however, was the young female
Captain who was standing behind him.

In her most authoritative voice, this, approximately twenty six year old,
Chemical Officer, Captain, who suddenly saw fit to correct me, and not mind
her own business, spoke up.  "That was an incredibly insensitive remark
Sergeant."  I quickly realized that I was about to be rounded up by the
self appointed "Ms. Manners," right there, in the PX.  Calmly I asked the
Captain when she was born; I was not too far off in my guess, and she
responded back with "1973, why?"  Politely I asked her, 'Is it incumbent
upon you Captain, to re-write history?'  Our young Captain was completely
confused and simply reiterated her attempt at thought and mind control over
me, and her historical re-write.  'Madame,' I said, 'I am sorry to
disappoint you, I know that this may be a little hard to grasp, but that
is, in fact, what I did for two and one half years, just a few years before
you were even born.'

Our shining virtuous leader of troops responded back to me, "That is
disgusting!"  Finally we had achieved common ground.  Yes, it was

Without a hint of reservation, it is time to retire.

-- MSG Jeff Gallant, "What did you do in the War?  What War?" Soldiers For
The Truth Newsletter, 17 May 00

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