Now Playing: by Charlie......
RANDOM ‘RITINS NO 103 (Military cap)
THE MILITARY CAP
I am a 95-year-old veteran who quite often wears a black and white baseball type cap labeled World War II.
The label does proclaim I am a veteran of that war. It provokes two stories for me to talk about, both questions posed recently, one to me as I dined at a restaurant., the other to a mother sitting within hearing distance at a different restaurant.
The first question was a hurtful one posed by an unknown Vietnam War veteran sitting at a restaurant table near me.
“Where did you fight in that war? Were you hurt? Both questions were in a smiling, friendly opening conversation that quickly went sour when the Vietnam solder heard my reply.
“I was not in combat, I was in supply, I said”. The smile disappeared and was replaced by a sneer as the grunt replied “You ain’t no vet then. And you can’t wear a cap that says you are !”
“I was where the Viets were shooting at me and my guys and we shot back and took out a few, maybe a lot. That’s combat,” he said.
This sounded as if I was being accused of not serving our country and was just bragging about being a soldier. I was not going to walk away from that.
This happened as my wife was away at a funeral. She was not present to place a restraining hand on me when she saw me seething and perhaps ready to get and lay a punch on the combat vet who spouted his achievements at places called An Ke and Plailku or something like that.
In mentioning my wife, I must mention we are second spouses, wed after each other spouse passed away. Her earlier husband was a Purple Heart veteran of D-Day combat, a friend who didn’t regard me as anybody but a veteran.
Returning to the story, I probably was seething but I quietly told this guy that in World War II, I was one of the later-on suppy guys who made sure he and his guys in Vietnam had working gun and the ammunition he and his guys needed to use the gun.
Now I will brag. I think I might have made a good point and began to change that one man’s thinking. I firmly believe that he isprobably is one of the many Vietnam veterans who are proud of their service but feels many Americans are their enemies.
Vietnam veterans are “Comrades In Arms” and I am proud to say to them “Thanks For Your Service.”
As a last comment on this subject, I often wonder I do not see “Vietnam Veteran” hatsand thefore cannot salute the with a handsake and “Thank Yu For Your Service”.
WHAT DOES WORLDAR II MEAN?
And now to a conversation that poses to me the question “Have schools, national and local, abandoned the teaching of history?”
In a different restaurant about the same time as in my previous story, a young girl about eight or nine, sitting wither mother at an adjacent table noticed my World WAR II cap and said to her mom “What Does World War II mean?:
That startled me and perhaps her mother. However, the mother promptly began in a low voice to explain a few things about that war and continued the conversation as they left the restaurant. Mother knew but her daughter didn’t.
That is the basis for my question about teaching. Are students now paying no attention to history if it is being imparted or are things like wars dropped from history.?”
ONE MORE THOUGHT
With all that off my mind now, there’s one more thing I’d like to explain. Do I always wear that WWII hat to gain “Thank You For Your Service” comments or handshakes?
NO ! At my age now, I like conversation when I am out and about. Making friends with people I might have liked to have known in my early years is stimulating and it is my way of continuing to stay alert, healthy and keep an aging memory still working. OK, now I’m done. – 30 -