Skip to main content

About Vietnam



About Vietnam
‘Food and shelter. Food and Shelter and someone is dying for me. Food and Shelter. Food and Shelter, and someone is dying for me’. That is what I awoke to at five after one this morning. The words that came out of my mouth, after I prayed, hoping all was well in my household. Of course, I arose and checked every person and every room in our homes. My natural action, of course.

I knew what made me rise, even though I’d only had a little more than a three hour sleep. It was my creative mind that woke me up. I thought at first, that it was something more serious. Not to say my creative mind is not. After checking on everyone, I lay back in bed at eighteen minutes after one. There was comfort, yet a discomfort that sat in my mind. It was the question, ‘Am I thinking differently than others, right now? If so, why?’ I thought as I lay in bed. I prayed, figuring the answer would arrive. I wondered, ‘Was God wanting me to get up and write?  Was this my only time? What was to occur from this disruption?’

Then the words rolled out as I was five years old, “I got food and shelter. I got food and shelter, and someone is dying for me.” As the five year old I was in 1967, I then asked as I did in the middle of this night. “Yes, but what can I do? How do I die for someone else?” Yep, that was the question. It was the question I’d had most of my life.  But yet, it wasn’t like I was trying to die. It was a childhood question. How do I go do something for someone else without them asking anything of me?  That was the question. How do I do it, nearly unrecognizable? In a sense. So, from then on, it was my thought to go into the military.  Because there, you’re just a number. But yet, you were given an opportunity to truly give it all.

I reflected back last night to the time the Vietnam War waged on. Walter Cronkite gave us the news.  Casualties listed quite regularly, that I can remember. My mother extremely worried that her only son would be taken, and she would lose a third son. The young adults I mingled with as a child were either my recreational counselors at our local elementary school during the summers, through 1967-1973. Or they had been the recovering addicts in the basement of the Nazarene Church I’d attended between 1968 through 1972. They were young kids who now were attempting to straighten out their paths.

These young adults were lost.  They appeared disillusioned. Disillusioned as to the direction that the country was going in. They had not too many sympathizers in my family. Except my Mom. On some Friday nights, my Mom would take me to the basement of the church.  These young adults would hang out there. As they would play guitar and sing songs of love, peace and what I called ‘Jesus Hippy’ songs. I would help serve them fruit drinks. As well, cookies that my Mom and the other women had made, who attended Sunday church services.  I listened to them talk about LSD, tripping and such. I didn’t understand it all. But I listened. They spoke on how they felt about life. The only category I could put them in, was good.  Good people, who were either misunderstood or didn’t understand or both.

I can say it left it’s mark in my mind, and my soul. Not a bad mark. Just another episode I witnessed as a child about being human. Even though I wanted to become a Marine, I never told them that. I didn’t tell my parents till 1973, anyway. My Dad Poo-pooed it.  My Mom questioned it.  My brother ignored it. I didn’t tell them all my reasons why. I also knew it was something I had to do. I had a lot of reasons. I accepted the fact that many wouldn’t agree with it back then. I wouldn’t dislike anyone because they didn’t have the same feelings as I had.

I can say, the times when I do have admonishment for those who deferred during that time is when they show disrespect for what I may have learned and know. Or they lied about why they deferred military service at that time. As well those same persons who’d lied, were condescending, bigoted and oppressive to others. Then I learned that was not what I perceived Americans to be. Yet, I may have to defend such abhorrent ungrateful sorts. And hopefully, I would be lucky enough to not have to serve them much.---Jody-Lynn Reicher

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Reicher's Official Holiday Letter

  “When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.” ---Ralph Waldo Emerson There are many ways to shed light on seemingly impossible situations or what we would consider obstacles to our daily living. It is not always in our daily intake and output that is the measurement of a human being. It is the grind. Some people struggle with miniscule grinds; while others have bus loads to grind through. Some don’t make it. Few do. Making it, is not, not dying. It’s progressing through even when there appears no light at the end of the tunnel. That there may not even be a twinkle of a star in the nights ahead. And the human that faces that, knowing full well that they can’t change the ending to their earthly story. Yet, they consciously go through the process, has made it. They’ve lived. No matter their age, I believe that, to be one of Life’s truths. As this year has progressed, the pandemic actually blessed us. Yep. Many would not agree with that. But then, they weren’t us. They weren’t our

To Laconia and Canada Too

 He began, "So, I got this deal..."  Me, "Yeah?" Norman,  "I went up on 23, and saw her. " Me, "Where did you go?" Norman, "Sport Spot on 23 South.  And there she was." Me, "Uh oh."😊 Norman,  "I'm graduating to a BMW.  She was sitting there. 1986, an R80RT. A touring sportster... " Me, "What about the Yamaha, Norm?" Norman, "I'll get a buyer before I have to pick up the R80RT." It was 1987, we'd just had a semi long motorcycle ride up North together for a week. New England that'd be.  Norman was all enthralled about the open road. Married just over three years at the time, and he rediscovered a new love.  Me wary, yet curious.  'Maybe she'll ride easier.  Less bumpy on certain roadways of upstate New York'. Norman even had me considering getting a motorcycle license.  I'd driven nearly every style, engine from small military jeep to tractor trailers...

Completion of Humanness

Completion of Humanness As we arrive to the completion of the first year without Norman, I had decided long before he'd passed that I would continue to do things certain things he liked yet could no longer do. I decided I would not take a day off of fitness.  I would run at least for 500 days in a row. I began that in early 2020.  I'd not be concerned with the distance I'd run. It was the very thing I convinced Norman and the thing that mattered to him, from the very first discussion we had August 11th, 1981, was fitness. I loved that he was a College Boy. He loved that I was a Marine. We tickled each other's soul with such admirations. Later fitness continued as an old discussion from 1994 ...getting outside and to run no matter what. I would say to him, "Run 200 meters, then 400 meters. If it doesn't feel good, stop. Turn around and walk back home and know you did your best. That is all you can ask of yourself." I said this,  knowing he would get dow