Re: [sixties-l] Vietnam War Memorials(Karl)

From: Karl Slinkard (
Date: Wed Jun 21 2000 - 00:18:24 CUT

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    I was a draftee from February 67 to February 69. As luck would have it, I
    spent my war in the safety of Bangkok (another story). I was greatly torn
    as to what to do about the draft (evade? confront? submit?) In the end, I
    submitted to the draft, at least partially because I saw the major
    alternative as being an ex patriot the rest of my life. Yes, Bill Mandel,
    it was a personal and selfish decision. And I lucked out. I didn't have
    to shoot anyone. No one shot me, and I got the G.I Bill to go back to grad
    school after the war.

    But in Bangkok, I saw lots of guys who were totally chewed up by that war.
    I also came to learn something of the solidarity of men who have gone
    through fire together and who fought less to uphold any political or
    philosophical principals, than to respond to an insane situation as
    honorable comrades to the men around them.

    Maybe this is all a morality play, as Mr. Mandel implies. It didn't seem
    that clear cut when I was in the middle of it. I mainly wanted to pass
    through an insane time with as little dishonor or humiliation or damage to
    myself as possible. And yes, I wept unashamedly when I first saw the Viet
    Nam War Memorial in Washington. There but for the grace of the universe
    would be my name on the wall. Most of the names were then kids like me,
    scared, bewildered, trying to muddle through and being ground to pieces. I
    salute all who may shit their pants, but stick--don't run and let their
    comrades down.

    Neely Karl Slinkard, US56585704

    At 09:19 AM 6/17/00 PST, you wrote:
    >Joe McDonald wrote:
    >> i wonder how many shows of virtual
    >> hands there would be on the list if i ask: how many on the list are
    >> veterans or now active duty military? cheers, country joe mcdonald

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