not nearly as funny as you'd think.
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That's all she wrote.
He was barely 20. No father. The only son in his family. He enlisted in the Navy by choice. He didn’t wait for the draft.
He married my mom while home on leave between a one-year tour in Adak, AK and shipping off for Chu Lai, Vietnam in 1966.
I was born three years later. I am their oldest child. My brother came along three years after that.
I know more about his tour in Vietnam from these pictures than any stories ever told during my childhood. I don’t know how it changed him, because I don’t know who he was before. I just know that it did. How could it not?
I could have written this with a couple of exceptions. My parents were already married when my dad enlisted. He left when I was three, and came back when I was around 4.5. My parents are still happily married. He has found peace over the years, but the nightmares still wake him, even still. He doesn’t talk about it, but has recently begun reuniting with the members of his platoon. He came home angry. Really, really angry. And over the years, with a lot of mistakes, he came to terms with it. We are close now. We weren’t always.