Who were the assholes starting shit in the streets while this toddler watched his father writhing in the agony of phantom pains on a green carpeted floor; his mangled body extruding slivers of shrapnel from behind odd patches of skin used as a donor area to cover the stumps of legs he lost to a booby-trap in Vietnam?
My adult self is aware they could give zero fucks about that Sky Soldier nor his child witness.
One of the kindest women I have ever dated lives in Chicago. Our politics matched, yet she often connected among the political well-to-do as a function of work, the types who supported for president the likes of those who’d leave Americans to die in a firefight without support, despite it being available.
Bill Ayers, a Weatherman, populates that crowd. In fact, he sat with her playing the piano. None the wiser until we discussed the era’s activists, she regarded the monster as soft-spoken, appeared kind and was proud of his walking cane collection.
Ah, the good ole puckish days.
Feral, twenty-something youth from the expensive side of the tracks, imbued with a false precept of superiority afforded them by education and pedigree, protested for recreation. Aged now, they sit at pianos enjoying life.
They have time to write memoirs.
They have a life to recall the fun times.
They wish they could stop time at their moment yet time stops only for the dead.
We are inside submarines at the bottom of the sea. We are in the bathtub waters of Pearl Harbor, entombed in the USS Arizona. We are one with the air over Germany, having exploded into a mist from what was moments before a bomber.
We are in the dirt on Pacific Islands, Europe, Korea, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
During the Vietnam War, servicemen in their last moments of life realized they would never see their loved ones again, hold their wife or have a chance to cradle their child. Meanwhile, on college campuses and in the streets thousands of miles away, people carried signs proclaiming he died a monster.
I can’t get over that thought.
Jane Fonda personifies every anti-American activist that fought to see us fail. If it weren’t for Her and Tom Hayden’s IPC lobbying Congress, BUFF’s could have eliminated the NVA out in the open on the march to Saigon. Instead, we cast South Vietnam aside and committed to death hundreds of thousands more fleeing the regime in boats.
I saw it on TV.
DC did nothing.
They washed their hands of it all in the blood of 57,939 men and women on the memorial, not counting the wounded.
The era’s America and spineless politicians left the Veterans to their own devices, families included, to question the value of sacrifice as the voices and actions of the likes of Fonda held more value to decision making than the men executing the action.
I needed to address her, address the Weathermen, address the POW experience and the extended families. As players added, the larger this project grew until 180,000 words took up space on the hard drive.
Within all that text, I decided the climactic events compacted into one work would detract from the impact intended from each. Moreover, how this initial release is received may dictate, in some cases, how the story develops and perhaps, how it ends.
The means to an end remain.
Getting there is our journey.
I’ve done my best to avoid error and deliver a good read without some publishing house behind me or resources to spend on polish. Regardless of error, I believe this story valid.
Finally, on the art of writing.
Events in the book resemble reality, pulled from some element of truth found in dozens upon dozens of books read.
By no means, a biography, emotion from personal experience is repurposed to write unrelated scenario.
As the whole 180k words are incomplete, this is the first joyride at the circus. Hop on brothers and sisters, and let’s drive this bitch to the end.