Minneapolis, MN, USA
My story isn't mine at all.
It's the story of my brilliant young cousin, who dropped out of
M.I.T.,was quickly drafted to Vietnam, and returned a heroin addict.
Now, he struggles to live on his own.
It's the story of so many guys at my college, safe with high lottery numbers, drowning in acid, pot and beer their anxiety for friends "over there;" their guilt, yet relief, for not being there themselves; their grief for each friend lost. While bombs droped in 'nam, these guys ricocheted off walls at home.
It's the story of a friend who lost much of his hearing during the bombing, who would call me in the middle of the night, terrified by his nightmares. He would drop to the floor at the sound of any loud bang. I look back, and see that I gave him little comfort. I've lost touch with him now, but hope he has found some.
It's the story of Jerold, that high energy, red-headed neighborhood kid, who enlisted, went to Vietnam, and came back, changed. He lived at home with his parents. It was as if he couldn't shake the horror from inside his head. I was afraid of him. One day, he went to his favorite bar and shot and killed his best friend, and then went home and shot his father and killed himself.
There are more stories to tell. The war goes on in a different way. The years slipped by, but what has changed?