Pleiku Pals Gathering in O'Fallon, IL in May, 2012 Print

Some years back I joined a group of folks who had served in Pleiku, Vietnam.  We come from all branches of the military, some of them from Australia.  All who served in Pleiku are welcome.  We don't care what sort of service was involved--infantry, signal corps, flight ops, artillery, whatever--we just take comfort in knowing that we were there and we did something while we were there. 

The Pals have a gathering just about every year somewhere.  I had never been to one until 2012 and I decided it was time to meet the folks who would show up at the next one.  I had gotten to know some pretty well through email and/or Facebook and I made an adventure out of it.


Vietnam and the Army Print

No, I don't have any profound thoughts about Vietnam.  I don't weep and wail about it.  I don't castigate our government or anyone else about it, except perhaps to say that Congress, as usual, made a hash of it and should have let the military do its job.  Suffice it to say that I went there, volunteered to stay (twice!) and was fortunate to come back safe and sound.

I will also say that the Army was really good for me.  I went in when I was 19 years old and, like virtually every other teenage male in America, I was an opinionated, ill-informed, ungrateful, immature jerk.  A good dose of discipline and structured education from the Army was really good for me and I still think that military service of some kind should be mandatory.