I am still reflecting on how best to write this
article with fairness and respect. It is a very painful subject and many people my age do not like
to think about this era of their lives. But, I received
a phone call from my daughter recently and she told me she had been reading about the
Vietnam War. I asked her, "Didn't they teach you about the war in high school and college?" She said, "No, but some of my friends were talking about it and I decided to learn more about it". She continued to talk and
asked me, "Did you marry mom while you were in college to avoid the draft?" I was stunned. I said "No honey, I married your mom because I
loved her and wanted to be her husband. But, I married her during the war while I was in
college because I honestly believed that soon I would be killed in the Vietnam War. I wanted to
spend as much time as possible being her husband before I died. I
knew I would have made a terrible soldier and I don't think I could have pulled the triger to kill someone
even though the military trains soldiers to do this. My draft number
was 3 and I was in line to be drafted at any moment. It didn't matter that I was in college and I was preparing to be
a minister. The war needed chaplins too." "How come you never
talked with me about this." she asked. I said, "Because I feel guilty that I
got the opportunity to live when so many young men like me died and never got the opporltunity to have
a loving wife or family. I feel like every young man who served in the Vietnam War took my place
on the battlefield for me. I don't even feel good talking about it now. I
did nothing to help the boys who went to war and who came back from the war. Those are the people
you need to talk to if you want to know about the war. They are the ones who paid the price with their lives and deaths. They are the ones who were most injured by the
war. They suffered immensely and were treated terrible when they came home
from the war." Before my daughter said goodbye to me on the phone she asked me one last question. "How come you never got drafted dad? she asked. I replied with a question. "Have you ever heard of Richard
Nixion? He ended the war before my draft number was called."
Soldier: Click the photo and listen to Travelin Solideir by the Dixie Chicks.
It reveals the anquish, heartache and pain millions of American experienced during
the Veitnam War years.
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