He Said That? 5/18/17

From “My War,” by Fleabaggs:

One of my closest buddies from school got drafted and found himself in Bumdeal Vietnam where nothing ever happened. He’s standing in a wet trench in the Monsoon for hours every day waiting for nothing to happen. Then he gets to go back to a smelly sandbag hooch to rest and his buddy is escaping to La La Land with some pot and a squeeze tube of morphine from a kit. 3 months later he’s sharpening his needle on a nail file and cooking smack over a Zippo, wondering how this happened. He’ll be able to quit pretty easy when he gets home he thought. But I just can’t go back out there tonight without it. Just 8 more months. On the flight home he gathered up what little dignity and self-respect he had left, thinking that he was still a hero for sticking it out. A month later that little shred of hope was gone.

He had no idea how he killed that many old women and babies without remembering at least some of the details. So much for the quitting. 2 years later he died with a needle in his arm. I’m not excusing our bad decisions after we saw the farce that it was. I’m saying that was what happened and that we had lots of help getting to that point. We were not going to disgrace our families by deserting or going to Leavenworth and getting a BCD. So we put on our best pair of man pants, sucked it up and muddled through.



3 responses to “He Said That? 5/18/17

  1. Mr. Gore,
    Few, very few times in my life has an article or incident have had a serious effect upon me. The death of my parents, JFK assassination, the death of my sister, my wife when she said yes, the birth of my children are about it. I’m grateful you shared Fleabaggs article with us, I pray his soul to keep, I keep the faith, but I’m no saint, it just seem’s the right thing to say.
    I have never, ever been touched as emotionally as this article hit me. Born in ’59, with two older, 9 &10 yrs sisters, I lived within their worlds. Consequently, I also suffered their losses of boyfriends to ‘Nam, I tried to enlist at 15 and was shot down… To think I was blinded by the government and the rest then and for many years after appalled me.
    Please pass on to Fleabaggs, he’s welcome at my campfire anytime.
    Keep up the good work.


    • Thank you. Fleabaggs’ story has had a similar effect on a number of people at SLL and The Burning Platform. It’s a story that needs to be told. The emotion it leaves with me can only be termed raw, like when your skin gets ripped off. It’s powerful and let’s hope, in the way of the universe, that it does some good.


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