I wasn't born when my father came home from Vietnam. But I do know it changed his life forever. I can remember as a kid sneaking up on him to try to scare him. (Being a kid I didn't know any better.I thought I was playing) Well as I was sneaking up on him, he must have been listening even though he was talking to someone at the table. By the time I got behind him, He was pointing an invisible gun at me. He was saying don't you dare move!! If you could have seen his face, his eyes,his body posture. I will never forget that day as long as I live. Scared the beegeezies out of me. I learned real fast, you DO NOT sneak up on daddy.
My now husband learned about it too. Purely by accident, when we were dating he must have walked fairly quietly behind my father to get something and BAM!! My father was right there screaming at him not to move or he would kill him. The look in my fathers face, I can't explain it but I will remember it forever.
My father was a good man and a regular kid that went boating on the lake and caused the "trouble" a regular 60's type kid of 21 would have before he went to war. (Boating to fast on the lake and tryig not to get caught by the warden. Nothing seriously jail kind of bad.) But he came home a scared bitter broken man with alot of resentment. He never forgot, he never recovered, he just went on surviving the best he could.
Those whom have never visited the sunny Southeast Asia 'terror parlor' cannot and will not ever understand. In previous engaguements there was a line somewhere that was obevious, there were trenches or battle lines, barbed wire baracades, ect. In VN the area started at your boots toe and ended at their heel. VN was a failed experiment in battle stratigies, we who attended are marked for life; thank you government and politicians, what a wonderful gift. I have, as the other, been in full battle alert 24-7 for 35 years now.
When the wind shifts, my subconsicience causes me to turn and sniff it; my hearing is so acute that I hear things others cannot even imagine gives sound; even now as I type I have a piece of paper taped to my screen to cover the bounceing emoticons at my left side, each motion causes me to open a different mental file on it. I cannot do even simple tasks without cover sound; I allways have a radio or tv going so I know there is nothing sneaking up on me. Its a substitute for battle alertness; yesterday I was nailing up fence boards, after each hammer strike I found myself reorientating to the area. Insane? Yes, but a controled insanity.
All of the senses are set on permanate wide open positions, we detect everything to the fullest, this is why we have such a failure rate conserning marriage and relationships, absolutely everything is sensed, digested, cataloged, and present in our memories. Perceptions, insight, all the mental senses are included; this is why so many of us choose to be alone as much as possible, its the only way we can find peace. (As if such exists).
My brother-in-law was in Viet Nam. I knew him for years before I married his brother...even dated him. When he came home, he was thinner, but he had not changed one iota. Yes, he saw combat-was a crew chief on a helicopter, etc.,etc. His personality was not one bit different and still isn't.
I truly believe that war or illness or any other bad experience affects different people in different ways. Example would be my sister....she has buried three of her seven children. I asked her once how she could bear it and she replied that she had no choice...she did what she had to do. Is she strong or is she one of the walking wounded? I don't honestly know. I do know that burying one child has destroyed many a mother's heart.
my first introduction to the viet nam war was the death of my brothers friend. Our families were close with children matching in ages... Even though I was 10 or 11, I know that the surviving family members were changed... at about age 18-20, I lived with the family... Holidays were overwhelmingly bereft of Tim.
Their youngest child who was about 8 at the time Tim died married a man who was excluded from serving due to health issues...
My dad was in the Navy in WWII and the Korean War. He's spoken of it a bit - mostly about fun things he did with his buddies - but there were a few physical manifestations of his service that I noticed even as a child.
When the man woke up, he was UP. He would fall alseep on the couch - we would tiptoe up to kiss him goodnight - and he'd jump up saying, "What? What's going on?" and that was it for his slumber. It was like flipping a light switch - he went from sleep to full alert in a nanosecond.
Also, he was stationed in the Phillippines for a while. He has lived outside DC for about 40 years now, and the hot and humid summers are nothing to him - I guess he got conditioned to it. Try to go golfing with the man at the height of a Washington summer - you won't be able to keep up.
moopups...I'm really sorry that you still have issues from those times! A good friend of mine from those bad times had a philosophy that made sense to me. It was called''F*%K it,it don't matter,drive on''. I've been driving on for 35yrs. I was SO glad that I got out of there alive, that anything that has happened to me since then has been Great. I think it's all how you look at it. Is the glass half empty, or is it half full? After all these years, I think we just have to Drive On.
Does anyone else react to chopper sounds? I can be busy outside and become aware of tension building in my gut long before I hear the beat of roter blades aproaching. Strange, but one more reason I'm glad to be moving to a quieter place.
bgak47 puts forward a good way to deal with life events beyond our control. We must always be careful not to clutch at and hold on to a bad, destructive thing because it makes us unique and brings wanted attention....Glen **** Danang 64-65
Im 3rd generation military.There is NOT a 4th generation in our family :no: .I support defending our borders,period.The rest of the world can jolly well defend theirs.My kids arent going to be canon fodder to protect dictators(kuwait) or oil money :no: .Odd isnt it,not one member of congress has a child in the war now,but they sure have no problem with sending yours overseas to die .
Navy Vet BooBoo
Oops,wrong thread,thought i was on generational one.
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