“Gooooood Morning Viet Nam”
There was this movie with Robin Williams, it came out in 1987-Good Morning View Nam. The movie began funny but ended sad. I should begin by saying that we sent a lot of good people over there, unfortunately many didn’t come back. It wasn’t their fault, but as history looks back, America did some stupid things….those thngs you can determine for yourself.
Why do people stutter? I’m sure that any doctor can give you 10 reasons why a child stutters. I stuttered when I was very young. I was extremely self-conscious of my “problem”. There were certain words, that just wouldn’t come out….at least not plainly. Was I made fun of….WITHOUT a doubt. My reading speed and comprehension was low, whether or not that affected by stuttering, who knows…
I can remember around third grade my teacher and mother talking that “maybe” if I was put in the advanced reading group, it might give me confidence and help me. So, the next day, I was “invited” to go to the corner of the room with the other advanced readers, we sat in a circle and took turns reading, “out loud” . I quickly counted the kids in front of me, determined by turn and looked ahead to my sentence…..there, in the middle of the sentence was a word, that I JUST KNEW I’D GET STUCK ON!!! I sweated it out…yes, it came to me, and that WAS the sentence……I refused to read it out loud, the teacher tried a number of times, but to no avail, I wasn’t going to stutter in that group!! That was my first and last day in the advance reading circle.
Come back with me to my March Blogs, and there was a series on AM Radio, and DJ’s. Did I over come my stuttering….mostly, but there still lingers that chance for a “stuck” word. I had that lingering, in the back of my mind, when I was a DJ.
Shortly after my DJ’s time, the United States Army, in 1967, began thinking that I should give them “my” assistance. Actually, I had lost my S-1, draft exemption status and became 1-A, (prime material). This was at the height the Viet Nam war (I mean conflict-although I don’t know who was the most conflicted?) It seems that the safest branches, the Navy and Air Force, had enough volunteers, to meet their quota’s (demands) for the next ten years. The real vacancies were in the Army and Marines….so off tto he Army Recruiter I went… Nothing scarier than walking into a recruiting station when we’re at war (I mean conflict). We discussed my background, likes and dislikes, (I’d not yet graduated from college). I liked chemistry, but, I just knew that the Army’s concept of using my chemical background would be that of operating the trigger on a flame-thrower!!! I also was a “floor walker” at K-Mart, that’s someone that nabs shoplifters.
I procrastinated about signing up and was drafted in October 1967, and bused to Fort Campbell, Ky. A fort full of crazy people who jump out of perfectly good helicopters!! Did I mention I have a fear of height!!! I went through a battery of tests and scored fairly well!! (Which can’t say much for Army testing, because I am a poor test taker!!) Here’s a tidbit, if you got drafted it was for two years, if you enlisted it was for three years! So, the ploy was, if gave up your draft status (two years, most certainly end of a rifle, in Viet Nam) they would enlist you as Regular Army (three year status) with choice of schools and duty station!! Yeah, right!!
So, I raise my hand (stupid, stupid) and says; “Sergeant, I was told to NOT enlist or sign up for any thing, and I could be assigned to Armed Forces Radio”.
Sergeant: “That’s a d……. lied, who told you that?”
Me: (stupid, stupid, stupid), “Colonel, Lyle Barker, of the Pentagon.. (Yes, I had contacted him, and yes, he was in-charge of Armed Forces Radio, and yes he did tell me this)
No, I didn’t fall for their “little game”……but I did get KP for a week!!!
As it turned out, I didn’t get into Armed Forces radio, and no, I didn’t go to Viet Nam. Actually, 24 days later I went home…..
I like to tell everyone that I didn’t like it (the Army) so I quit!!
But, truthfully, they found I had high blood pressure, and I was medically separated.. (to my friends, that’s NOT the same as a Section 8!!) But it is 4-F status, and no chance of being drafted!!!