Litkicks Message Board Archive

i heard a similar testimonial from a young veteran in 1980

Posted to Poetry and Politics




while living in the woods east of Santa Cruz by the San Lorenzo River. He was ex-medic Nam War. He told us that for what he went through, he wanted nothing to do with the military or the V.A. He said,he'd finally forgotten about it so why bring back those memories. Also heard same from another guy in 1987 in Phoenix staying at a flop hotel/ He has big purple bags under his eyes. We were running behind a truck getting circulars to place on cars. He was refusing to go to the VA same stated rationale. He'd lost everything, a cabinetmaker from Pennsylvania, divorced, now a bum. Also from a friend in St. Petersburg, who helped me a bit,1988-89, sober,but incessantly working labor pool, a former gunner choppers Nam "Phan Thiet" where we flew into a lot. He'd dropped a incendiary flares on a nearby village, burning it instantly to the ground, in retaliation for the spate of attacks on the firebase.
He returned home, got married, was a success in advertising sales, then it all fell apart. A depression. Now touting at the dog track, labor pool. Living small room, boarding house. Another one, ex-medic, junkie. Many more. I've spoken with numerous war vets. Some of course recovered and well off. But the inner suffering the same.
Why I am with antiwar veterans for peace. Why others are rationalizing it all. Different coping schematas.

Yes this old guy is fading away, but I would never say that to him., personally. Lots of old folks fade away.

Why somebody into art like yourself stays vital, elecartist. You ain't fading nowheres.