Michelle Obama Speaks . . .
I am one of those losers and suckers who was in the military from 1968 to 1974. As my wife of 49 years would tell you, I came out of the Corp nuts so bad I told her never to get back in bed with me unless you wake me up first. I lost friends like most of us did then. It still bothers me from time to time, I was not there for them. To have this president belittle the loss of them plagues me. They were good people.
This is worth listening to and I hope you take the 24 minutes to listen to Michelle Obama. It is a soothing talk she presents. A special hat tip to Digsby at Hullabaloo for posting it and then inviting everyone to repost it. Michelle Obama “Imagine how it feels . . . ”
“Imagine how it feels . . . “
Hey Run, Thank you for your service. I was protesting the war you were fighting but I always supported the folks doing the fighting because a number of them were friends of mine–I wrote a lot of letters in those days–and most had no choice in the matter other than moving to Canada. I certainly did not think they were losers or suckers–I thought they were patriots and still do.
No patriot and never liked being thanked. Listen to Michelle as this is important and more so than what I did in the late sixties. A potential candidate who said no.
I attended the nationwide Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam in Richmond, VA, on October 15, 1969, wearing my dress greens with my orders to proceed to Fort Lewis for disembarkation to Cameron Bay around November 1 tucked away in my pocket in case of MPs. After I returned it would be almost three decades before anyone thanked me for my service. In the early 70’s they just thanked me (euphemism alert) for killing babies.
People never bothered me. I came to NYC from Cuba one Winter in my uniform required at the time of short sleeve khakis in 1970. I was not quite three years in and a Corporal soon to be a Sergeant. Walking down the sidewalk to my then girl friend’s house (now wife), my female cousins surrounded me to let me know she had gone out one evening. It was funny and cute as they lived on both sides of her house and she never had a chance. I laughed and smiled and said: “she did huh?” My Italian cousins would call me Billy at the time.
Perhaps, I was treated differently by people. I was never treated poorly and neither was I welcomed by strangers. I did not care what they thought.
It was only people that did not know me that called me names and that only lasted until my hair grew out. It might have really been my red, white, and blue striped jeans with my buzz cut hair that attracted derision. Also, I was still living and hanging out in proximity to the VCU campus that had been my base of operations for civil rights and anti-war protests before the war. I was sullying the legacy that I had helped to begin. Irony knows no bounds.
Did you grow up in NYC?
I grew up in Chicago, went to an all boys high school, enlisted, and my wife taught me about women. For some reason she liked me? Up till then and except for one other person, I was used to a male society. I was fortunate in that she liked me for some reason. I never considered I was a good looking guy until much later in life and was shy and awkward. After I got out of the Marines, people did not screw with me anymore.
In 68 I enlisted. It seems so long ago. I was stationed at Monmouth and going to Cryptotech school there. The Corp liked me for some reason. I did well and left a Sergeant in six years to marry the woman who lived between my two aunts, a host of cousins, and my Italian grandmother on my mom’s side. There was a private joker. I introduced my kids to Full Metal Jacket. That was the Corp I knew up up to Que. I was a good recruit and deadly with an M14. My scoutmaster, when Scouts were real, taught me how to shoot. My dad taught me how to work with my hands. Several degrees later I was working for major companies and when laid off with my hands.
Dan and I have been busy trying to upgrade the place, make it readily accessible for cell phones, and give commenters greater capabilities. Dan has been ill and he is getting back in stride. We are moving forward agin.