Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summer of 1965

I don't have the information available to give credit to the photographer who took this photo of some young GI's during the war in Vietnam, but I think he captures the reality of what they may have been feeling.  I remember wanting to join up right out of high school.  At that time, almost three quarters of the voters in the United States supported our efforts there.  As time passed, Americans became frustrated with the fumbling efforts of self serving politicians trying to build legacies for themselves.  My number never came up and I remained stateside.  However, I never lost my zeal for what my friends and acquaintances who fought over there were doing.  I am reminded daily of their courage and sacrifice as I see our young service men and women coming home from deployment in hostile Muslim controlled countries.  Like those in Vietnam they put their lives on the line for freedom. All who survive, and all who are wounded, come home changed forever. Our politicians have not gotten any better.  In fact, I think our current president acts in collusion with our enemies.  The fight for freedom is worth the price we pay, but we may have to bring that fight to our own shores soon as men with evil intentions diminish our freedoms and ignore our constitution.  I wrote a poem that recalls my feelings when I was young and brash.

      Summer 1965

When I turned eighteen,
our country was at war.

I possessed a child’s ideals
of what it meant to fight.
An obligation,
a feeling of tradition,
a need to prove my metal.

The reality of death never
Politicians gambled,
No focus,
no vision,
no backbone.
Their markers paid
in blood.

Our soldiers fought honorably,
with courage,
and purpose.

Dennis Price


  1. Well do I remember the summer of '65. I enlisted, turned 18 in boot camp. Received my orders for the Nam in September.

    Yeah. I remember that summer. At least I wasn't bucking hay.

  2. I have often said if I had been a young man right out of high school in 1971...and had not been drafted...I WOULD NOT have fought in Vietnam. Since we had been in Vietnam (in an advisory capacity since Ike, for crying out loud) with no end in sight, I would have chosen NOT to lay my life down. It was nothing like WWI or WWII where we went in it to WIN it. Such a sad time in our country's history.

  3. Yes Sue, the reaction to the failure of politicians to seize the victory caused the public to be highly dissatisfied with the war until we finally pulled out. We had lots of opportunity to be victorious, but the military was shackled by politicians who inserted themselves into the mix. Thank you for your service Buff. Bucking hay probably made boot camp seem easier.


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