Originally posted by:
One element on the cruise that I didn't care for was those younger guests who had contemporary radical military ideologies and walked around with chips on their shoulders. In my opinion, when I heard those discussing aspects of the war, it was usually a study in gross ignorance.
As usual, an interesting and dare I say an "entertaining" read. Not quite sure what you meant by "contemporary military ideolologies". Since the military went all volunteer, it has found it necessary to offer inducements, some astoundingly large, to encourage enlistments of, shall we say, individuals who would never consider the military as a career. Instead, it is merely a stepping stone to bigger and better things.The idea that you could get chased around injun country by "them" wasn't in the deal. There are those whose only experience with what happens when the politicos run out of options or get backed into a corner are purely theoretical. Nothing ever goes bump in the night, unless its their partner du jour.
"My war" made me permanently cynical when it comes to the body politic. My bodies were not theoretical. Most of my unit were reduced to names on The Wall. My wifes brother retired with an amazingly high rank..Did almost 25 years, now lives in Panama City, Panama, like a king in a high rise, on pension that would choke an elephant. Not once in 25 years did he EVER even hear a shot fired in anger, or do an unaccompanied tour, or a hardship tour, or draw hazardous duty or combat pay. We don't have anything to say to each other. On certain occasions, I wear my CIB. The dates aren't always the obvious ones. The rest are in a bag in a drawer. Those who know what it is, know what it is. Those who don't, well, neither I nor any grunt I know would even bother to explain it. You can't communicate the noise, smells, and yes fear serving in a line infantry outfit with a bad attitude. you just do your job.
In keeping with the theme of all this, my wife asked my once if I ever wanted to "go back". I care for her to much to have brushed it off...The country I knew, with all its warts, no longer exists. Those hills and jungles, are now parking lots and industrial parks. Their output is now on sale daily in Walmart. It would be very easy to go back, I'm certainly financially able to do it, and I have the time. And a supportive wife. There are specific tours for certain "notorious" areas that not only have an interest for some GI's, but, interestingly, some elderly folks on the other side, and/or their surviving children...Perhaps you ran into some of the same second and third generation types. (Unlikely they would suffer from the "contemporary military ideology" fungus.) The thought to go has crossed my mind, and a cruise would be my preferred mode of travel, for all the usual reasons. Then I get a grip, and think ANYTHING pleasant having to do with that place would be blasphemous.
We're heading down to NO Wed morning. It seems appropriate that this will be one of my last posts b4 shutting down. I have raised "old school" to a fine art on cruises. The phones go in the safe, I carry no tablet, its left in the car. The investments and relatives can take care of themselves. So can we.
Again, great thread and your response KENN. Cathartic in a way.