The child was usually a child of a sympathiser of the American cause. This was the sort of revenge, that was brought upon a family.
The war was becoming the focal point of many conversations with me and the guys. I was part of it and now I wanted to fully understand it. Many of the deep conversations would come while we sat aroundand smoked grass. The topic always seemed to surface with the new guys. The hows and whys of the war were of the prime topics. One of the ways of the war was smoking grass. Since, I had started to smoke, I found that I could block out the war for periods of time. My mind could only drift onto other subjects and give my system the relief it needed from the surroundings. It was much cheaper than alcohol and less of a detriment affect on the person. I realized, that if we were attacked one could at least function stoned within reason. The alcohol had the affect of totally inebriating the person and rendering him functionless if the occasion should arrive.
The grass seemed to be the only course of relief for the people that wanted to escape the pressures of the war. There was no noticeable after affect like a hangover. Mental orientation would stay with you even though you were stoned. To the people that smoked, alcohol drunks seemed to always be in a lost dream world. They were sluggish next to the guys that stayed active. Usually a game of horseshoes would be the game of the day. Seeing there was no television and minimal radio.Many hours were spent in competition while getting stoned. Sometimes the feeling of having a party persisted instead of the feeling of a war.
Along with the other guys that smoked grass, I found myself after a few weeks of smoking, falling into the same patterns of behavior. I would get stoned at night to relieve the inner tension of the work day. Everything would seem to melt away after getting stoned. Sleep would seem to come much easier. It was also a deeper sleep that came about. Before smoking one seemed to sleep in a half sleep of conscious state. That was probably, why the guys that didn't smoke always seemed to be tired. The name of the game in Viet Nam to me, like all the rest of the guys there, "was to stay alive". The Viet Cong had instilled that first thought months back, when I first arrived in country. One night they raked the barracks area with machine gun fire. I'LL always remember the green tracers as they flew over my head. This was part of there psychological warfare. It had a very good affect on me still a F.N.G. Always in the subconscious, the thought of the tracers remained. It was just Lucky that none stood up during the fire fight, that raked our area. This was the hope of the Viet Cong, maybe a F.N.G. would want to see.
If a person had gotten injured or killed it would have greater affect on our company.
The thought of that day remained within my mind. It wasn't until I smoked grass did the vivid realization of flying bullets come into full reality. This little piece of lead, going at about two thousand feet a second. My imagination pictured it piercing any part of my body. Tearing into the skin, bone, cells and blood that was, me.Taring and mutilating the creation of GODShuman body into shattering pieces. Being wounded or killed by something that was the size of a fingernail. How could I have gotten married and have children if it should have happen to hit my groin area. These were the real realities of the bullets. My life could be altered for the rest of my life, if one of them should make contact.
The childhood game of war, that I played in the woods around my house had left me. Now the game of war was real. The bullets were real, the dead soldiers were real and the torments of the war were real. The "horror" of the reality struck home like the blow from a hammer of justice, giving its final judgement to the person sentenced. There was no escape from it either. You were in Viet Nam and the real realization of the fact was mind shattering. Know, I could understand the reason for the drugs and alcohol, that was so prevalent. The prolific use, that was made was the only escape from the true realization of the war and its," horror".
From these days forward the real true fears of being wounded or killed lurked within my mind. You could try to suppress them but they still had that realism even while stoned. You knew the reality of the war. The fact that the war seemed senseless, made the fact even more vivid to the guys in the company. Those looks that the older guys in the company gave me, took on new meanings. It was the "horror" of the truth and the reality, that shown through there eyes. You could see that hidden fear, every time you looked at a person. Why were they sent to Viet Nam ? Why was it me that had to be picked by the draft board, for this God forsaken duty ? I'm too young to die or get maimed by some stray bullet. I'LL never see my girl again, what can I do ? Please let me go home to the place that, I was taken from. All of this was in the minds of the guys in the company. Inside and not outside themselves, they lived in this little world of torture. The pressures increasing with each passing moment on the short timers calender. These were the thoughts and emotions that twisted and altered the minds of the guys, that were in Viet Nam. They were the devils demons that did his dirty work, some willingly others captors of fate.
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