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View Diary: My Favorite Authors: Larry Heinemann, Letting Us Know About the Scars of War (16 comments)

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  •  You are welcome, amigo. I was with the cav (4+ / 0-)
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    arlene, chimene, evilstorm, DaNang65

    in Iraq; attached to the 3rd ACR during a portion of my time there. As you can gather fromj the diary I am very troubled by this idea of historical amnesia, not just the self-inflicted hell in 'Nam, but the more general obliviousness to what war actually does to soldiers. And for the record, I have worked on a few unfortunte triple amputees.

    I might diary Tim O'Brien's 'TheThings they Carried' It has a claim to be the best Vietnam war novel out there. Of course, if you want to guest diary that work, well, be my guest.

    There are many more leads in "the Vietnam reader"; I still keep my muddied and dog-eared copy. Enjoy . . .

    An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

    by MichiganChet on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 09:43:01 AM PST

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    •  Still have to find my way around (2+ / 0-)
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      MichiganChet, chimene

      before writing, I think. I was with 4/7th in Korea and 2/3rd at Ft. Bliss before ETSing. I'm guessing that's your 3rd, too? Brave Rifles. I am totally agreeing on the forgetfulness. I worked with National Guard who activated under DOD contract here and in the states for five years till the funds got cut in 2010. Lots of the vets I worked with on education issues were just back from Iraq and Afghanistan. The resilience was amazing but the struggles were real--as I'm sure I don't have to tell you after what you just said last post. If anything, with the eventual wind-down and shift of population from A-D to vets, we'll have to remember now more than ever, just when most folks have been willfully forgetting or just drifting. And since it's not politically advantageous to act tough anymore, well...

      Think I have to figure out how to guest diary and all of that. I'm looking forward to trying to write more. Feeling really new right now. Thank you, and I'll check out the titles  you mentioned for this winter's reads. Best.

      “I discover myself on the verge of a usual mistake.” ― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

      by dannyboy1 on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 09:55:57 AM PST

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      •  PM me or any other administrator for R&BLers (0+ / 0-)

        And if you contact me by personal Kos messaging I can send my standard email. Best to 'ya

        An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

        by MichiganChet on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 12:38:47 PM PST

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    •  It sounds like you're interested in the Viet Nam (1+ / 0-)
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      debacle. I can see where OIF could have done that to you. If you want a solid understanding of the "big picture" may I suggest Frances Fitzgerald's Fire In the Lake, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in General Non-fiction and numerous other literary awards.

      You'll understand why, in the run up to our not so excellent Iraqi adventure, another Viet Nam vet buddy of mine (173rd Airborne) said to me "I've seen this movie before".

      When will we ever learn . . . .

      “Meditation is the only intentional, systematic human activity which at bottom is about not trying to improve yourself or get anywhere else, but simply to realize where you already are.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

      by DaNang65 on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 08:19:46 AM PST

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      •  Thanks for reposting my diary (1+ / 0-)
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        and I was thinking about expanding this one into some of the historical resonances and background of vietnam, but wanted to get it out on sort of time. I suspect that we would have a lot of common ground on that self-inflicted disaster. Hell, I could do Graham Greene ('Quiet American'), Robert Halberstam ('The Best and the Brightest') and Niel Sheehan (A Bright and Shining Lie) and make a series.

        And you are right, OIF sure rekindled my interest. I thought it was a fucking quagmire even before I got there, and nothing I saw disabused me of my opinion. In fact I had a bit of a discussion with some of my fellow Cav officers who had some unwarrented optimism in the summer of '04. That was when we handed the government over from the provisional Authority and got that asshole Bremer out of there (I'm sorry, I should clarify: That fucking strutting peacock lifer asshole L. Paul Bremer. Pardon my initial obfuscation). Anyway, they thought the situation was turning around. No, I said, this country is Haiti for the foreseeable future - and every senior Iraqi figure I talked to said that was the way it was going to be. This is one point I wish I was wrong. But we didn't have a big extensive discussion about it, just like it was rarely discussed by the soldiers over there whether we should be there or not. Mostly people just try to get out in one piece, and do their job.

        It truly saddens me more than even I can express that we did this in the same timeframe of Vietnam when many knew, like your vet buddy, that we had to learn the same damn thing all over again.Thank God Romney was sent packing - his Paris time when he was draft eligible really says it all - and I think he had a real chance of doing the same dumb things that were done then

        An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

        by MichiganChet on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 01:38:45 PM PST

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