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maggid

How did it all start?

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Well that's kinda hard to say with any certainty. With me it all started when I came home from Vietnam in 69. Like many other Vets we came home to a not so greatful nation. Vets now come home in their uniforms, not so with many Vets coming home from Vietnam, they had us quickly change into civilian clothes and processed us out of the service as fast as they could. Now that I was a civilian again I had to learn to adjust, speaking for myself I really don't think that ever really happen. I found my life just too slow and maundane. Other vets that I came across were also having a hard time coping with civilian life. What we didn't know at the time was that many of us were suffering from severe PTSD, of course it wasn't known as that back then, that didn't happen till 89 when the Military and the VA acknowledged it as a symptom of being in combat or in life threatning situations. It was always known as battle fatigue or shell shock. Vets from WWll and Korea now have been diagnosed with PTSD and have been given help in this area.
As for me, well anyone that was an adult in the 60's & 70's know what kind of a time it was. Drugs were everywhere, I found myself smoking a lot of weed to help me sleep, to silence the nightmares and the excessive alertness which was with me all the time. Nothing happen fast enough for me, I had a very hard time holding down a job. It seemed like all I wanted to do was to get high and stay that way. I went to these Vietnam Vet meetings where we would all sit around and were suppose to talk about our problems... all they really amounted to was a big circle jerk, most of us were so high we didn't give a **** except for the session to be over. After the meetings some of us would hang out for awhile and shoot the ****. Looking back in retrospect I know now that many of these guys were on the edge, life didn't have much meaning for them anymore. some had already gotten divorces and others had a hard time with relationships, myself included.
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  1. Bob G's Avatar
    Well summarized, Larry. Having been there/done that myownself, I fully understand. But I fear those not from that era even have a clue about it.

    First, and most significantly is just how seriously divided this country was about that war to begin with. Especially our generation, the 'Baby Boomers' born after WWII. We were the most fiercely divided of all.

    From my vantage point at the time it was bone simple. One half stood up for their country and did the patriotic service they were asked to do. The other half was a bunch of ill-kept lazy slovenly cowards.

    Of course they held us in equal but opposite contempt. But the divisiveness transcended the whole strata of our society at the time. Our problem was that we were preoccupied with military service and just flat trying to stay alive in the combat zone to be here to stand up for ourselves in the divisive conflict going on in mainstream American society at the time.

    By the time we returned and tried to assimilate back into society, we had a 'culture war' to fight of which we had no training or much less a clue, how to deal with it. We were branded with such broad-brush names like "Baby-Killers", "Ticking-Time-Bombs", and all sorts of similarly slanderous & broad-brush monikers.

    Personally, I find it amazing that far more did not follow your path, Larry. I know that I gave it serious thought at times. When no one will hire you because you've been branded completely unstable, desperate situations are bound to arise.

    Plus it didn't help that the maggot infested, bottom-feeding, scum-sucking cowardly half of our generation was already 3-5 years ahead of us in the workforce and for, good reason, viewed us as their direct competition in the workplace.

    For the most part, they chose not to deal with us in straightforward fashion. But rather did their best to fuel the bogus stereotypes of us as best they could at that time.

    So finding oneself in such a scenario fresh from a serious jungle guerrilla war, finding 'alternative solutions' to issues & situations is not the least bit far-fetched. Again, I'm personally surprised there wasn't a LOT more of it.

    After all, violence was something we were all trained at and learned to deal with as comfortably as possible under any conditions or circumstances.

    I'm sure that robbing a bank would be a 'cake walk' compared to having survived a nasty vicious jungle ambush or the similar things that happened to so many of these vets.


    Updated 02-13-2011 at 05:47 PM by Bob G
  2. Lone Star's Avatar
    Thanks to both of you for the stories.
    Theres a lot of food for thought in there.
  3. Rev. Puffer's Avatar
    Well, an amazing read! I applaud you for sharing as I think it is important that everyone has a story to tell, not all are upbeat and positive for sure. Over the years I have come to respect you immensly for your knowledge of pipes and tobacco. This helps to solidify that more. I also want to thank you for your service to our country. I can only imagine a fraction of the hardships you all went through in Vietnam and coming home to face many ungrateful people at the time. I for one am not among that group.
  4. maggid's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Rev. Puffer
    Well, an amazing read! I applaud you for sharing as I think it is important that everyone has a story to tell, not all are upbeat and positive for sure. Over the years I have come to respect you immensly for your knowledge of pipes and tobacco. This helps to solidify that more. I also want to thank you for your service to our country. I can only imagine a fraction of the hardships you all went through in Vietnam and coming home to face many ungrateful people at the time. I for one am not among that group.
    ThX's Rev. coming from you it means a lot.
  5. bucknuts17's Avatar
    great article larry, i to appreciate your service to this country i was to young for vietnam however i did serve in the Ohio national guard for some time had several combat veterens in my unit all amazing soldiers and quality human beings. learned alot by observation, i'm glad to see this country embracing our men and women in uniform still more needs to be done. i have spent some time with you and have enjoyed it immensely, you are a giving individual, a wealth of knowledge { especially about cattle guards}. looking forward to spending more time with you. thank you.
  6. maggid's Avatar
    Thank you Bill, and thank you for being the main enabler for our pipe club. I hope it continues to grow.