Monday, November 18, 2013

Vietnam, Pearl of the Orient 3

A few years ago, a friend of mine told me he had a heart condition and asked me when I had realized that more than half my life might be over.  I thought it over for a minute and said, "Fifteen."  I was born in 1955 and in 1970, it had become obvious that Vietnam was, in many ways, a class war.  There were so many exemptions, and easy access to draft lawyers and challenges for those of a certain income and above.  I was a small town kid , being raised by a single mother in a sub poverty income household.  I may have been the ultimate draft bait, but I got lucky.  The Paris Peace Accords that ended American combat operations was agreed to on January 23, 1973, my eighteenth birthday.  It was signed on the 27th.  Two years latter, like most Americans, I sat and watched the fall of Saigon on TV.  I can remember thinking, "I'm glad it wasn't me."

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