A memory

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The Almighty
Jun 11, 2016
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Free America
Please humor me. If you ever wondered why Ken is difficult, let me tell how things were even when we got back. I found myself at Ft Riley, Kansas for my last few months in. I was helping supervise a group that were just waiting for their Undesirable discharges to go through. Most had been AWOL several times and the Army was tired of dealing with them. Gen Westmoreland decided that they could not be confined. So we were in a barracks that was inside a tall fence, but we were not allowed to shut the gate or to stop anyone from leaving. Most just had a few weeks left anyway. So I would take some of the guys that wanted to go and burn and/or cut some of the hundreds of acres of pot that grew wild there. I got so disgusted that on my way out, I put on civvies and threw all my uniforms in a dumpster. I don't know why I thought of this today, but just thought that some of you might find it interesting.
I was a relatively nice straight line kid, Mormon raised, followed most all rules and laws, an Eagle Scout with two Palms, bright enough to pass over sixth grade, great at math and science, did a lot of community volunteer work, kind to most everyone, played in a church sponsored baseball league as the pitcher for several years and Capt. of the Team. I always excelled at what ever I did: Scouts, baseball, school studies, and Football...

But Hated my father for what he did. (and never any help for me) < I will get back to this later!

I would spend most all of my summers working with my Grandfather on his farm in Arkansas while 'everyone else' would be off on 'vacations'. If you have ever worked on a farm you know that is not much fun and damn hard working your ass off from day-break until dusk. It was odd because my Grandfather couldn't speak as his throat had been burned by a chemical attack in WWI yet we communicated more and better that most anyone else I ever known.
My POS father had a lot of trouble trying to speak also, as he was hit in the neck in WWII and could only speak at a whisper. I do not EVER recall having any kind of a conversation with him, none, ever. I worked damn hard to get a Scholarship to be able to afford to go to College, a driven goal for myself, I knew an education was my only ticket out of Missouri and to have a successful life. I did that!

My only and younger brother was a slug, couldn't do a damn thing right, struggled in school, dropped out of Cub Scouts in his first three weeks, was never good at school, sports or much of anything, wrecked the 'Family' car less than two weeks after he got his license, sure put us in a bind! Ran into the back of a VW with a young mother and her baby, the baby was thrown around in the car and hospitalized. He felt the 'need' to go out for the HS football team, tried to be a kicker, they kept him as a 'equipment manager'... Didn't even last a one season at that! But my Mother and father went to every game, would even take off work to be there. He ended up getting married to a great gal, VP with the FAA, two nice boys... but he was a drunk, fired from every job he ever had, the last one was as a Dispatcher for UPS, canned for being drunk on the job, she divorced him real quick,
But he was the 'baby of the family' and was never seen for what he was, he was given half a duplex and a truck after the divorce.

Now back to the father:
I played in school every year, Our graduating class alone was near 1800 kids, imagine how hard it would be to 'make the team' with a school of that size and so many to choose from. In fact I was moved up to the Varsity Team as a freshman after six games. Unheard of !!!
But guess who never came to not even ONE game the entire four years that I played HS ball, my Mother, father or Brother, Not One. I made the All City Team every year, the All State team the last two years and honorable mention on the All American HS team my last... not one damn game. It did get me three solid offers for College, I got a FULL RIDE scholarship! They NEVER came to one game that I played in... and it was in Missouri. That was my FAMILY LIFE.

Circumstances, (the Draft) took all that away from me, instead of being drafted, I decided with a buddy to enlisted, US Army, you've heard this all before... Went in Jan. '67, Dec '67 off to VN... After going thru Airborne school, Ranger school, Survival/Escape and Evasion and NCO school. Guess who never came to any of those Graduations... but guess who got a Brand new car, a Ford Falcon Futura 289 4spd, his Jr year of HS.

Getting the picture yet.

You all know I spent nearly 3 years over there in that Hell hole, came back with some serious injuries, first to Ft Lewis Wa. to a gurney in the Hosp. hallway for near two weeks, moved to Ft Hood Tx for the next nearly 3 MONTHS, two additional surgeries and Rehab. Again guess who never bothered to come see me in all that time I was in the Hosp. in Tx. !

Yeah, I changed... after three years of Honest to God pure Hell, putting around 35 bodies of what was left of my buddies and friends on a helicopter to never be seen or talked to again, and dozens of the wounded, crippled for life. THAT was my reward for being a Good Kid growing up, doing everything that a person could expect of a kind, considerate, thoughtful Kid. Fed up with being shit on, tired of seeing death, lives destroyed of those 'doing their DUTY'
Damn right I CHANGED. No one ever gave a fuck, ever.

"difficult" not without reason !

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I was just showing that those us who came back in one piece got shit jobs to finish out our time. Had a buddy who lost the sight in one eye in basic, still was sent over. He is almost totally blind now and after years of fighting never could get any compensation. Fuck the VA. A couple years ago an old friend of mine went into a VA hospital for knee surgery. Got an infection and lost his leg. I have never let those butchers touch me. My sister ran a VA clinic for 5 years. She quit because of the awful doctors they got.
Oh and Ken, I grew up with parents who showed no affection to me at all. Started working summers at age 8 digging ditches and stuff like that for my dad, never got paid. In the winter, I hunted rabbits by myself and cleaned them for my mother to fix for supper. The day after I graduated, they split up. Probably why I spoiled my kids.
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No to devalue your sacrifices, but I'm guessing everyone reading this has also made some huge sacrifices in one way or another. One can throw stones and kick cans the rest of your life, or move past the hatred. If you only remember the hatred, you only feel the hatred.
No to devalue your sacrifices, but I'm guessing everyone reading this has also made some huge sacrifices in one way or another. One can throw stones and kick cans the rest of your life, or move past the hatred. If you only remember the hatred, you only feel the hatred.
I have moved on and will never join any group like the VFW or the American Legion.
I guess what strikes a nerve with me is I fought the war for 25 years defending right from wrong. Now, the military is deemed heroes of the world, but retired cops get the finger, and are scoffed at.
I know military who were cooks in Florida during Vietnam, and never learned how to shoot a pistol, but now these heroes go to Home Depot, get their own parking spots, get 15% of all their purchases and walk on water. Yet, an old retired cop have shot my gun more times, worked sleepless nights for years, lost wives from divorce because during times of violence, we were ordered to sleep in the bunkhouse, and saw death every day until we retired. We would work 20 hours straight, then ordered to shower and shave, then put on a suit and spend another 6 hours on the stand defending what we did 6 years earlier. Yes, former and current cops commit suicide every 18 hours. When i blew out both my knees, i was ordered to retire, because i was no good to them anymore. Yeah, we got paid well and I loved my profession, and I could care less what discounts we do or don't get, but instead of hating life, I try to keep on smiling. Oh, as far as VFW, a old retired cop is not welcome in there, and I know many who killed many more than our military on foreign soil.
Sorry for venting. Happy Independence Day.
I know cops are unfairly treated, just like we were called baby killers and spat on. They think the treatment today makes up for it.
And then theres me, just a high school drop out that digs ditches. My father was drafted in the 60s then spent 30 years in the Army. I joined when i was 18, had to get my GED to go then got in a bad car accident and they wouldnt take me at that time and then life happened. Had a shitty upbringing like everyone else. I dont expect anything from anyone. Life is what you make it and you only live once, do what you can to enjoy it.
We were all used up and spit out.
Thats what the government in America does, and not only to military but anyone who tries in life. We are all just pawns for those at the top. At times other countries look better.

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