Death Came Calling, But I Wasn’t Home
“Sarge, are you dead?”His question brought me back to consciousness. “Uh, no, at least I don’t think so.” I felt something sticky under my shirt. I reached inside my shirt, and my hand came out soaked in blood. The only thought that went through my mind was, “This is my blood on the outside of my body. This is not good.”I joined the Army because I wanted freedom. My high school principal told me that I needed to grow up. We arrived in Vietnam on Dec. 15, and on Christmas day 1967, I grew up. A “training mission” turned into a full-scale firefight. Surrounded by killing and death, I had no time to reflect on my expectations of combat. We searched the bodies of those we had killed for any traces of information about their units. We treated our wounded.
Savoring the World
I am an avid world traveler. I have lived in a variety of international locations, and I have both studied abroad and taught abroad. I have backpacked, camped out, stayed at youth hostels, and now, in my senior years, I have stayed in topnotch hotels and resorts. I have flown standby, and I have flown first class. I have hitchhiked, and I have taken public transportation, slow trains, fast trains, boats, and ships. I cherish my memories. They are solid, like granite, and they remind me of what I have been through and of how they have made me into a better person. World travel has taken me out of my comfort zone, has freed me from ever living a cocoon like life, has taught me to reach for the stars, and has provided me with an education that far surpasses any level that I could have achieved in any other way.