When I graduate high school in the spring of 1967, I’m determined to go to war. I enlist in the army and prepare to leave, proudly, for Vietnam.
Before I go I encounter some older guys coming back home. They speak out against the conflict, but I don’t believe them. “Don’t go,” they tell me. “It’s bullshit. It’s all bullshit.” I think they’re just hogging all the glory for themselves.
Nothing is going to stop me. Besides, what ever happened to “My country, right or wrong”?
To tell my story, It helps to back up and start with my father’s.
During World War II, he was a gunner’s mate, third class, on board the aircraft carrier Yorktown — the second one, commissioned after the first was sunk. He was on a five-inch cannon, information that means little to me when I first learn it as a kid. But then I wind up on a four-inch cannon in Vietnam.
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