I had graduated high school in 1970, was in community college. I was always raised to believe that you owed your country service. My brother was about to be drafted. I never really worried about VietNam. I enlisted with my brother under the Buddy System, in March 1971.
After Basic, my brother applied for a recruiter job back home for 30 days. I was sent on to Ft. Sam Houston for Medic training. He later applied to go to Nam and I applied to go to Germany. Well, as fate would have it, I went to Nam and he to Germany. I was a medic, worked in the Operating Room. I was in Nam until August, and I was a changed person when I came home. I wanted nothing from the Government and didn’t involve my self with the US Government for 35 years. But here recently , I’ve been going to the VA Hospital for help with PTSD, and I am now collecting a disability check.
I’ve never felt cheated by my experiences in Nam, nor did I ever try to make something of myself. Life is to live, and too fragile to be hemmed in by an office or a plant. I worked as a delivery driver for 22 1/2 years at JCPenney–nothing too complicated. I lost my family to PTSD, but am now married to a wonderful gal who is helping me get the help from the Government that has been earned by my experiences. My draft number, I think it was up around 300 or so ……grin…..but I don’t regret what I did. I’m proud I served and helped my fellow soldiers the best I could. In the 40 odd years since, I’ve seen a lot of folks come and go. Keep smiling.