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2004-10-16 - 12:02 p.m.

There are many reasons to be anti–war, Lies we are told, Morality, Innocent deaths, etc.

These are some experiences I’ve had that brought the effects of the Vietnam War home.

People I personally knew that died for no reason, One who was very bright in school, drafted only to be killed in the Tet offensive, the other a strong “bull” of an athlete, drafted, sent to Nam and killed in a traffic accident soon after arrival. Of course this wouldn’t be counted in today’s war statistics in Iraq because it wasn’t a combat death.

The effects on the “Normal” returned soldier, not wounded or crazy or suffering delayed stress syndrome, but the veteran that resumes normal life only to suddenly snap later either violently or by flashback into war mode. I saw a good friend flashback in a forest once, going into full combat mode including hand signals, concealment and lock and loading his rifle. It took some time for the other three of us to talk him down into the real world. Had another person walked out of the forest into his sights right then, it might have been a disaster. That incident was never referred to again amongst us.

I had heard that many Vietnam veterans lived like hermits in wilderness areas in the U.S. but never really believed it until one day I saw it for myself. We were 4 wheeling down the Gualala River some 20 miles from the coast in a wilderness type area in Northern California when we surprised a sleeping person. The tall gaunt guy jumped up and ran into the forest. Our driver got out and went to the forests edge and waited quietly. He briefly spoke to the person, then retrieved his blanket and returned it to him. Our driver said he had met this guy, a Vietnam vet who couldn’t stand to be around people anymore, in a small store that the vet used as a mail drop and visited for supplies a couple times a year. He also said there were a number of these guys living as hermits there, not being able to relate to others anymore.

Some books about war that affected me, of course there are many others that might move you more.

Vietnam war books: One Very Hot Day, David Halberstam; Sympathy for the Devil, Kent Anderson; The Quiet American, Graham Greene;

War books: All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque

I don’t want you, your children, friends or family to be affected like this ever. Personally, I believe it’s not worth one life, Iraqi’s or ours, to fight this or any other wars.

When my town or state is attacked right here, I’ll be there, but not one war in recent times has been anything but a “manufactured” scenario.

Sorry I’m back on a Political rant, Curiouoso*

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