This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

The war in Vietnam

The war in Vietnam was always in the background of my childhood. And it represented the reason not to believe in the integrity of the United States government, and the grownups around me in general.

No one talked about the war. There was never a mention of it at home, or at school. It was in the newspapers I delivered, and it was on TV, but it seemed so distant. But I was a young man living in the United States and I knew that some day I would turn eighteen.

My Junior High School friends and I somehow imagined that we would go to Mexico, so we took some Spanish classes. We were in Minnesota, so we would have probably gone to Canada, though. And that was the only choice, Mexico or Canada.

In 1975 the troops began returning from Vietnam and the draft ended. Even registration for the draft was suspended. I turned eighteen in 1976, and there was no draft, and no registration. It was like seeing the light of day after a very long, dark night. There would be a future, America had learned its lesson, it would never get involved in a war again. When it all started up again in the 1990s, I did the only thing that I knew what to do, I grew my hair long. That's what we did to protest the Vietnam war.

I've tried not to think about it for a long time, but I'm thinking about it now.


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