Finally, a Veteran!...?

Edgar's picture
Finally, a Veteran!...?

IDLE AMERICAN

When the prospect of military service popped up, I didn’t know the National Guard from a cattle guard.

Generally speaking, that’s still the case, despite my having “served” in the Texas Army National Guard for nine years, not too long after muskets had been cast aside in favor of more effective firearms. More than 50 years have passed since those years sandwiched between Korea and Vietnam. My military training was confined to periodic evening and weekend drills, plus two weeks of more intense training each summer at Fort Hood. It was during an era of comparative peacetime.

Some of the troops were grizzled veterans, having served and experienced World War II horrors in the 36th Infantry Division. We 18-year-olds were still on our first package of razor blades, and some had never previously fired a weapon. Some civilians viewed us youngsters as “weekend warriors,” and with good reason.

This being said, after my final salute in 1965, I felt I had “signed off” on military service. It was “out of sight, out of mind.”

We sweated out the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the US was said to have missiles that could take out targets thousands of miles away.

 

 

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