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Semper Fi At The Wall

canada goose black friday sale this afternoon Commander in Chief Obama spoke at ‘the Wall’, the Vietnam Memorial, amid the more sober observations that follow the week end BBQs and partying. My Gramma used to call it “Carnation Day”, reflecting the emphasis on the bereaved mothers and widows rather than showing appreciation and gratitude to the soldiers (an attitude that would have only embarrassed the ‘tough guys’ of earlier times, I’m sure). canada goose black friday sale

cheap Canada Goose The President spoke of the disgraceful way in which the returning soldiers of the Viet Nam War were made targets of anti war sentiment that, as he said, “blamed them for a war they didn’t start”. He also made a resolve that nothing like that would ever again greet a returning veteran. cheap Canada Goose

Canada Goose Outlet Obama also praised the fidelity of soldiers who “when America turned its back on them did not turn their backs on America”, recounting the many changes and modernizations to the present Veterans Administration that are the product of many vets’ activism in getting improvements to care given the disabled, to the laws protecting their rights not to be discriminated against, and to the recognition of PTSD as a very real war wound that debilitates the victim just as surely as shrapnel, and requires serious care. Canada Goose Outlet

As the President spoke, all the horrors of coming into my tweens during that slice of history came back to me. Two interactions were the most traumatic for me both incidents being encounters with vets newly returned from South East Asia:

My hometown, Katonah, has a tradition every June 6th the Firemen’s Parade and the opening of the Annual Carnival on the back lot of the firehouse. For many children of that time and place, the Carnival loomed as the first opportunity to ask a girl on a date (or for girls to be asked). But I didn’t get a date for that first night my memory is of the following afternoon. The firemen have a lot of fun at the carnival, manning the game booths and barbequing for the snack stand. One of them was my eldest brother’s friend, Tom he was in charge of the booth where canada goose outlet las vegas kids try to toss a Ping Pong ball into a goldfish bowl and get the goldfish canada goose outlet if they do.

canada goose store The circus atmosphere is enhanced by the web like rigging of all the canvas. The booths were pretty simple ‘walls’ with a peaked tarp on top but the snack stand tent was huge. One of that tent’s stake ropes was being used to lean against by a young adult with a funny light in his eye. My friend David and I had managed to scam cups of beer, even though we were under aged, and the man with canada goose outlet factory a cast from wrist to elbow said, “You’re too young for that beer.”, or words to that effect I also don’t know exactly how I answered him that I ‘was eighteen’ but I remember exactly what he said to that. canada goose store

He said, “Your sister’s ct, you’re eighteen!” all the words of which I could define at my age, but the cold savagery of the sentiment was shocking. I must have frozen, staring at him. The next moment I was on the ground, confused, my head ringing, and Tom, who had jumped the counter to check me out, was sounding far away as he said my name in a worried, excited manner. It took me some time to realize that I had been struck by the man leaning on the stake rope who was nowhere to be seen.

canada goose deals Someone took me home (we lived only a few blocks from the firehouse) and my father was informed that I had been cold cocked by some guy with a cast on his forearm. I canada goose outlet store uk had a slight concussion, I suppose, though I never went to a doctor. Dad insisted that I go to the police station to ID the man which I very much did not want to canada goose outlet usa do. My father still insisted, and we went to the police station. canada goose deals

Canada Goose online When canada goose outlet sale we arrived, we were told that my ID ing of the perp was not necessary. It turned out that he was a vet, recently released from a mental ward, and when they came for him it took canada goose jacket outlet uk six cops to bring him down and get him in a police car. It was the biggest excitement of that year’s carnival. Canada Goose online

canada goose clearance sale And that look in the eyes was something I came to find often, especially in vets, but in various college campuses as well. Mental illness, in the seventies, walked around far more freely than we see in our present culture megalomaniacs and psychopaths are, to the casual observer, very similar. The drug addled leaders of protest groups or communes were nothing if not megalomaniac. So it provided a powerful cover position for psychopaths like Manson. And the strange behavior of hippies made some of the craziest people look down right dull by canada goose jacket outlet store comparison. Also, impromptu camping out was another popular fad of the canada goose outlet store toronto age thereby hiding a lot of hygiene challenged, diet challenged schizophrenics. Back then, Karen Carpenter had no serious health issues she was just a ‘picky eater’ until she died from malnutrition. canada goose clearance sale

canada goose coats on sale So, I’m me, in the 1970s. I’m wary of crazy people. And there are plenty of them walking around. But my worst memory is of the crazy vet the guy darn near clubbed me to death with a single blow and this was during a harmless conversation, canada goose parka outlet with no warning. canada goose coats on canada goose outlet boston sale

buy canada goose jacket cheap My eldest brother has a party one night when the ‘rents were away. We had a ‘breakfast nook’ off the back of the kitchen. It’s the out of the way, quiet place to talk during our house parties. I’m sitting across from a huge guy he’s Special Forces, just back from the jungle where he acted as demolition expert for his second tour. Every word canada goose outlet in vancouver he says to me makes me more nervous and he’s got the long stare which isn’t quite the crazy glint, but canada goose outlet vip can be hard to be sure of. buy canada goose jacket cheap

canada goose He moves his arm (he’s just picking up his beer bottle for a swig) and I practically jump through the ceiling (from a seated position). He quickly reassures canada goose outlet buffalo me that he’s not dangerous and as is always the case his tone of voice said it more clearly than the words. So I tell canada goose outlet eu him I got hit with a cast once and he says something like, ‘Yeah, that can happen’ canada goose

Canada Goose Jackets But the look on canada goose outlet store quebec his face let me canada goose outlet 2015 know that it was hard enough for him to tell himself he wasn’t a monster, without other people being unsure about it, too. He looked sadder than I’d ever seen anyone look before. Canada Goose Jackets

But even at that age, no one had to convince me that PTSD was real I could almost feel it coming off of the vets, the emissions from their broken hearted, brain shattered minds. And I never scorned the soldiers it was clearly a political problem that “men who follow orders” can’t, and shouldn’t, have a hand in fixing. But I saw very few in the Westchester suburbs of my pre pubescence. The only effect it had on me personally was the few times I chose not to be too outspoken canada goose uk site about my feelings in a meeting full of young people who had invested their cool points in being anti establishment (and all the soldier spitting on that implied). No one was bothered by the ‘fighting for peace’ oxymoron back then getting beaten up in high school was still de rigueur, but now there were two groups: the ‘jocks’ and the ‘hippies’, whom one could incite with blasphemies against their pet opinions.

buy canada goose jacket My memory shows me only horrible things about the Viet Nam war and this was from the perspective of a child safely ensconced in the suburbs the nightly news had war footage fresh from the fighting over the last 24 hours. Every single night, the war was broadcast as news long after that tragedy ceased to be news. Everyone was well aware of the bleeding, screaming, explosions and slaughter that were ‘today, in Viet Nam’. Life magazine had gorgeous full color photos of the My Lai massacre. The news began to have a schism: first, the war news; then, the war protest news. buy canada goose jacket

canada goose clearance And this is what I saw in the distant past as I heard the President address the veterans and their families at the Wall. It struck me as terribly ironic that these former fighters and their present Commander in Chief knew better than most how horrible war is yet there was never a more inappropriate place to talk about the evils of war and the dignity of peace. Celebrating the valor, dedication and self sacrifice shown by men and women ‘who could not be there’ was the Order of the Day. canada goose clearance

Canada Goose Parka It would have been just as inappropriate to discuss the dissolving of our reasons to re invade Iraq at the moment that we achieved military victory over Saddam’s regime. And it would have been the height of rudeness to raise the almost comic relationship between the USA and Pakistan at once allies and enemies, at once the recipient of our foreign aid and our Seal team incursions. Canada Goose Parka

And it would have been like rubbing salt in the wounds to raise the strange way in which our country has made war in the Middle East for over ten years and to have started in Iraq, ostensibly, to help topple an in humane regime, and yet we sit on our hands as Syria’s government shamelessly slaughters its own citizens nearly every day. Sadly, our reticence to intercede a la Libya is partly because we have so many unpaid debts from the preceding military actions among Syria’s neighbors. Plus, it’s an election year.

Viet Nam was a nightmare, even at my childish remove from the realities that the news programs showed each night. And it remains the most in need of remembrance (and sorrow) for having its heroes come home to contempt. My late father was a Marine in Korea, though he returned unscathed from his service. Many only developed side canada goose outlet phone number effects canada goose kensington parka uk years later and something canada goose outlet kokemuksia I’ve noticed none seem to talk of the bad times. I certainly don’t only remember the good times even if the beer was warm.

Canada Goose sale The mental ravages of war, I saw canada goose outlet store calgary a lot of it when on the border of Rhodesia, trying to find the enemy in the thick bush. Many only developed side effects years later and something I’ve noticed none seem to talk of the bad times. I certainly don’t only remember the good times even if the beer was warm. Canada Goose sale

canada goose coats It astounds me that PTSD (or whatever name used for ‘experienced and participated in mass murder’) took so long to be recognized as real. I’ve been traumatized by lesser incidents like hitting a deer, or getting in a fender bender that left me nervous and edgy for days. Full scale war forget about it! canada goose coats

canadian goose jacket It astounds me that PTSD (or whatever name used for ‘experienced and participated in mass murder’) took so long to be recognized as real. I’ve been traumatized by lesser incidents like hitting a deer, or getting in a fender bender that left me nervous and edgy for days. Full scale war forget about it canadian goose jacket.


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