This past week I traveled 1,593 miles and 51 years back in time.
Professor Tom Murphy, Indiana University, South Bend, initiated my trip when he asked if I would like to speak to students in his history classes that use Muddy Jungle Rivers—my visit included an evening public reading. I’m often surprised at the wide-ranging discussions during reading conversations—from the antiwar protestors to troops in the field to the political scene. One young lady, questioning the morality of the Vietnam War, attempted to equate perceived police brutality to troop behavior in Vietnam—there really is not a reasonable answer for such a question. Our national collective Vietnam Experience continues to haunt us—including our grandchildren.
As we drift into the autumn of our years it’s common to reminisce about the past. The past week while in Indiana I had the opportunity to reconnect with two men I served with during our 1966 deployment to Vietnam. We’re old men now, but sitting near the bonfire, I closed my eyes and listened, and once again I saw three seventeen-year-old sailors joking on the deck of the USS Rogers. We had a wonderful few days together.
As much as I treasure my visit with them, it feels good to be home.
Apr 23 2017