Point of No Return

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic

The 1960s for many boys and young men, was a time for dreams, a time to believe in hope, and their time to search for self-fulfillment and achievement. The 1960s was also a time of war.

POINT OF NO RETURN

By Al Garcia

The 1960s for many boys and young men, was a time for dreams, a time to believe in hope, and their time to search for self-fulfillment and achievement.  The 1960s was also a time of war. 

Too soon, the ecstasy and eagerness of youth was gone.  So too the momentary splendor of passion under the stars, and the wonder of unfulfilled dreams consumed by uncertainty and the vagueness of fading dreams that seemed to dissolve into the haze of days that begin to pass. 

War has a way of delivering the best of us to a point of no return, where nightmares and despair replace the vestiges of what used to be.  For the strong, for the brave, for those with the courage to see beyond the flames of hell, it was an awakening of their spirit and their soul.  Some even found meaning and purpose at having experienced the brutality of war. 

But for many more, the sights, sounds, and cruelty of war, destroyed their innocence, their virtue and their purpose for being.  For them, Vietnam was overwhelming and devastating to their developing and sprouting minds.  It was the end of days for far too many, and the beginning of dark and endless nights for those that kept reliving the days that were. 

As for me, I may have found what I didn’t know I was looking for during my tour in Vietnam.  It is a personal realization or discovery that each soldier must find on his own.  For me, I found it 50 years after the fact. 

I found out things about myself I never knew I had.  I found, deep inside of me, that I had the courage to deal with the reality and finality of the inevitable.  I found I had the intellect to understand, and possibly even comprehend, the human toll of war, and how the loss of innocence and of life could change the world, and even help me grow.  And, most importantly, I found I had a heart, because I realized I did have the capability within me to sacrifice if the moment ever came, without a second thought.  Without knowing, I had it back then.  And I feel now, as I reflect on the days of my youth.

The only thing missing from my self-realization or awareness, was the yellow brick road back from the point of no return.  That was the key to everything -- finding our way back.  Climbing out of the simmering cauldron of despair.  For many it was struggle, and still is today.

It was having crossed that point of no return that killed the ecstasy and eagerness of our youth.  It was having felt the intensity of loss and of helplessness that destroyed the splendor of passion was known.  And it was seeing dead and exhausted dreams abandoned on fields of tears, that destroyed the wonderment in our lives. 

Unfortunately, there is a point of no return, beyond which no man can ever find his way back. 


Submitted: May 25, 2021

© Copyright 2021 A.Garcia. All rights reserved.

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