Skip to comments.A Night Along the Military-Civilian Divide: An Iraq Vet in New York
Posted on 05/02/2013 2:22:09 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
As I squeeze into my dress blues for the first time since 2009, I think of my grandmother. Shed told my brother and me that Americans were once embarrassed to be seen in public with young men not wearing a military uniform. Then shed shake her head, say that had been a long time ago, and ask if we wanted another bowl of Raisin Bran.
My grandmother was a practical woman and a career Navy wife, so nostalgia didnt soak her words when she said this. Just consideration. She passed away 10 years ago. The World War IIera America she referenced has been dead far longer than that.
Tonight, in 2013, were going to Columbia Universitys Military Ball, my wife and I. Even though my particular graduate program doesnt have a lot of Iraq and Afghanistan vets in it, the school as a whole doesmore than 450 last year according to an article on Bloomberg.com, by far the highest number in the Ivy League. This is the schools third annual Military Ball and is being held at Gotham Hall in midtown Manhattan. Our friends, both vet and civilian, promise well have a good time.
Until we decided to go to this years ball, my blues had been boxed up in my moms garage, untouched since Id left the Army. It takes me a long time to get ready, ensuring all my ribbons and badges are straight and in the correct order. Ive forgotten how much the military revels in dog-and-pony shows. I realize that Im proud of these ribbons and badges and of being able to wear them, modest in significance though they may be, even though my feelings about the war I earned them in remain complicated. Ive grown more earnest about my service with time....
(Excerpt) Read more at thedailybeast.com ...
How can you kill women and children?????
I just don’t lead them as much!
The Marines are at war.
America is at the mall.
(sign at an outpost - Afghanistan)
Thank you for your service Matt Gallahger. Your sacrifice and that of your brothers is appreciated by those who were once on the sharp end of the spear and by their families. He doesn't say, by if he was with the 1st Cavalry (America's First Team): Gary Owen!
Yeah, well some of us can’t afford to go to Wal-Mart, much less the mall. Say what you will about President Bush 43, but it only took about six months to get my VA claim through back then. This guy has had me waiting for going on two years with no resolution in sight. “Probably sometime in 2014” is all I can get out of them.
I was 191st Combat Intelligence Company, 312th Military Intelligence Battalion at 1st Cav from 1979 to 1981.
My service was a bit earlier; GMG2 on USS NUECES (APB-40) off Dong Tam, RVN with TF-117 (Mobile Riverine Force) in 1969. Then with MST-2 [SEAL/UDT boat support] at SEA FLOAT/SOLID ANCHOR, Nam Can, RVN with TF-116 (Game Wardens) in 1970. I feel like a geezer around all these young kids.
That wasn’t my first assignment. That was G-2 Hotline Intelligence Analyst, I Corps (ROK/US) Group at Camp Red Cloud, Uijongbu, Republic of Korea. I was literally in charge of early warning for the DMZ along the probable invasion route above Seoul, Korea. Five months earlier, I’d been in high school.
Fifty years out of the Air Force and I’m sure if I still had them, they’d fit. After a month or so, I knew I wasn’t going back in, so I dumped the whole issue into a Goodwill collection point. Wish I’d kept that overcoat.
I loved my soft, olive drab work uniforms from the Army and kept them after I got, out for comfort wear, and then one day they and all my other militaria all disappeared (from my drawer), and my wife said that she had no idea where any of it went.
Ya lost me there (sobbing)...
The break happens very quickly. I recall talking about it with a neighbor's son, freshly back from his first deployment. He'd hooked up with some high-school buddies that afternoon and was in shock. "They're little boys," he said, or something like that. "I'm the same person I always was. What happened to them?"
Nothing, of course. It just sneaks up on you.
I am one of millions
we need to thank the men and women who serve today, while we still have them with us
I recently went to my first family reunion upon retirement from the military. I was introduced to everyone and applauded. The one thing that sticks out in my mind is when the lady who introduced me asked “Did you see any action?” I would prefer she just thank me and leave it at that. My simple reply was “It was interesting.”
To this day I have only spoken of certain incidents to one person and not sure if I will ever tell another. As I type this it all comes back like it happened yesterday.