Neil Serafin, Vietnam veteran
Bailey, Colorado, USA
Guys like me, draft age during Vietnam are different than the
group before and the group after. The group before were the Elvis
guys. Two years in Germany and the GI bill. The group after, no
draft and even for a time no registration. Many of us tried to stick
it out in college with our 2S (differment). I graduated high school
in 1968. I was a radio guy and wanted to take Engineering in college.
I knew my math scores were poor and I could have flunked out in
my first semester. Flunking out meant you lost your 2S. I took Political
Science instead of Engineering. There is huge lack of graduated
engineers aged 45-53 in
this country. I know I am a VP of Engineering for a company that
makes Cable TV Equipment.
My 2S ran out when I graduated college and I got drafted 3 months
before the draft ended. I joined the National Guard the day after
I got the letter from Richard Nixon. I was in an artillery unit.
My hearing is that of a 70 year old.
I run into Vietnam boat people all the time. One guy is now a
43 year old former South Vietnam Marine. He is one of my customers.
He said the Vietnam people should have lost the war. They would
have been better off. He goes back to visit his relatives in the
Delta. He says Vietnam is now 50 years behind the rest of Asia.
If Vietnam had lost the war, the US would have given massive aid.
Coal fired choo-choo trains serve his home village. The Vietnam
boat people are highly literate and very hard workers. The US is
very fortunate to have them.
I guess my final comment is what I said to my relative in Spain
( he is an officer in the Spanish Army) when he asked me what I
thought about are involvement in Vietnam. I told him after Vietnam
many American's lost their trust in the government.
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