What I got out of 3 yrs in the Army & 20+ months in Vietnam

I never saw anything positive that was done there
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What I got out of 3 yrs in the Army & 20+ months in Vietnam

Post by johncope » Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:06 am

I'm afraid I can't say the 3 yrs in the Army and 20 + months that I spent in Nam were served out of patriotism. I never did understand our purpose in Vietnam. I was there because I was a under-achieving kid from a poor family with no chance for college, who enlisted in the Army, hoping to learn a trade and get access to the GI bill, while hopefully surviving his time in Nam. Not unlike many others I am sure.

Being in Carto, I had it pretty easy. I liked the work, and we did it in air-conditioned expandable vans, listening to good music... so I extended my tour in Vietnam 2 times with the plan to get an early out. I didn't get that early out because I got busted for pot. I did learn the beginning of a trade during the 3 years, and I was able to fill that out by going to school with help from the GI bill and that has ultimately been what has carried me through my adult life.

My time in Nam was a special time in my life. When I joined the Army, I was a shy introverted kid, who faced a life of working in gas stations . I came out as a young man with some goals, a bit of confidence, and the experience of interacting with a bunch of other guys in similar situations. I felt a part of a somewhat exclusive, if not popular or desired, fraternity of men who "spent their time in hell"... And even though I spent my time in the "suburbs of hell", I was still there, and it is a time to remember.
John Copeland
Carto Platoon
August 1967 to April 1969

"..the older I get, the older I want to get..."
-- Keith Richards

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