“Smarts is More Important Than Being a Veteran”

  As I wrote an email to my high school classmates as to why I am voting for McCain, one of the reasons I listed was that He was a Veteran.  One of the things she replied to me was that she felt Smarts is more important than being a Veteran, which qualified Barack Obama as He had served as President of the Harvard Review, while attending Law School.

I am a veteran. I have served in the United States Navy.  I also attended the United States Naval Academy from 3 weeks after graduating high school until about March of 1963.  I would have been in the class of 1966 had I graduated from the US Naval Academy.  But, even attending the short time that I did, I have an appreciation for anyone who can graduate.  I could not.

John McCain could graduate, even if was 5th from the bottom.  I graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School  in  New Orleans, La, which took all the bright kids with IQ’s of 120 and above and prepared them for college.  I graduated almost at the same position in High School as John McCain did The Naval Academy, yet I was able to attend the United States Academy.

When I left the United States Naval Academy, I incurred a 6 year obligation to the United States Government and was immediately on inactive duty in the United States Navy Reserve.

I came home to New Orleans and began to  attend Tulane University, party and attempted to join a Naval Reserve Unit at Naval Air Station at Bellechase, La.  I immediately began to blow off going to my monthly meetings as I found drinking and partying to be more important than my commitment.  Alcoholism at taken affect.

I struggled through dropping out of school, working, and then trying to go back to school taking part time courses.  Before it was over I found myself having had mine own apartment, then moved back to my mothers and trying to go back to school.  It was at that point that that I received orders from the US Navy to report for a physical and if found physically qualified, I would be sent to Charleston, SC.

Someone  told me about the Training and Administration of Reserves and I that could stay in New Orleans for another year.  So I volunteered for 3 years for the TAR program at Naval Air New Orleans.

We used to be flown to little operations like take down a base during the day and then get flown back to base in the evening.

That’s where things get really fuzzy in my life: I was doing a lot of drinking.  Later, I kept hearing about Viet Nam and decided to Volunteer for duty and sign for 6 more years and got a bonus.  I had actually signed up in July.

I remember someone telling me I needed me this person who was a veteran of the Israeli war.  I was running around in the French Quarter in New Orleans.  A buddy of mine and I wound up going into a coffee house and there were Anti-Viet Nam War things happening.  First, the films were national news, then international news, then the grainy black and white was shown as to what was happening over there.

The Cubans stood up saying we needed fight the Communists.  All I cared about was to go get another beer because this place did not serve beer.  So my buddy and I left.

When I got back to the base, I was interrogated by the NSA as I had a Secret Clearance for my Radioman’s position.  I told them  all that I had seen and was told that I could go to work for them.  I think that is why I decided to volunteer for duty over there but not sure.  My records do not indicate me going.  But, when I stopped drinking, the memories started flooding out and the PTSD has been there.  I jump when I hear gunfire or loud reports, helicopters are a welcoming sound from miles off, I have enveloped peripheral vision and prefer to sit at the back of a room to I can see everything, I am uneasy with anyone sitting behind me, I have had typical PTSD behavior.  When I  finally, began recovery from alcoholism,  I began to have memories and flashbacks.

So my question is finally, what’s more important?  Smarts or being a Veteran?  Was it those who were Smart who created a secret within my mind and now I am a veteran who is Smart?

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