Perspective

Vaughn McMillan

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Getting older makes us all see things with a different perspective. I've been re-watching Band of Brothers and I was talking to one of my nephews tonight about wars and such. As I've gotten older, I've become more and more fascinated by WWII and the war in Vietnam. I'm still in awe at the things people went through during both of those periods in history.

As a kid born in the mid '50s, I heard about WWII a lot from my parent and grandparents, but to me it was a distant historical event, even though it ended just a bit more than a decade before I was born. Vietnam was a much more "real" thing to me because even though I was a kid, I still very was aware of it when it was happening. To my nephew who was born in the mid '80s, Vietnam was his distant historical event, despite the fact that it ended about a decade before he was born. He had a real ah-ha moment when I pointed out that 9/11 and the war in Iraq was his kids' Vietnam, happening about a decade before they were born. Going in the other direction, WWI was pretty much the same to my parents as WWII was to me.

Just one of those things to ponder.
 
I grew up in a family whose males served in the military. My dad had five brothers who all served. My dad served in the Pacific with Army Air Force. He was in charge of a platoon of Japanese POWs. The next oldest brother served in Europe and was with Patton all through Africa, Italy and Germany. He was pretty much behind the lines as a cook but he did see action when the camp was overrun and he had hand to hand combat with the Germans. He would get a far away look in his eyes when he told of that encounter.

The next two oldest brothers served in Korea. I never heard much about their time there. One was an MP and the other was a mechanic. The uncle who was an MP also spent time in Germany after Korea.

The two youngest were in Viet Nam. They were there in the beginning. They told stories of how difficult it was to determine who the enemy was and how the terrain made everything hard.

On my Mom's side her father was in the Navy in WWI and her brother was in the Navy in WWII. Both were machinists.

Whenever the family gathered there were always some war stories told. I became very respectful of those men. Most of the time the stories they shared were good and happy stories. Occasionally you would hear stories about the horrors they experienced.

When the draft lottery came out I was in the first round. I went for the induction physical exam along with a bus load of other men. I was rejected. I was in the best physical shape of my life but because of a knee injury I was deferred. I was shocked.

In some ways I felt guilty about that. I had friends from high school that I played sports with that died in Viet Nam. One of my teammates on the wrestling team died on the runway when he first set foot in the country. He was hit by a mortar shell.

I can't imagine the horrors of war but I sure have respect and admiration for those men and women who served our country.
 
Respect and honor the men and women who served our country. To many gave all for our protection. Wars in the past were all identifable enemies. In todays wars who knows who you are fighting. I can imagine that would keep your head spinning.
Prayers for all our armed forces.
David
 
I agree I read quite a bit about WWII now that I am older. I watch Band of Brothers about once a year. This year I watch "Pacific" and have read two books that were written by men that were there. An eye opener for we was the huge difference between the two different theaters. In the European theater a horrible war, but there were some ethics some rules of war that made some of it a little more civilized, if anything about war can be civilized. In the Pacific, things were reduced to uncivilized, and barbaric. This was just my take, but that is it appeared to me and it was that way on both sides. You have to go down and fight at the level of the enemy.
 
In 1979 my buddy fixed up and drove a '53 Chevy pickup. Thought it was a neat old truck. 26 year old truck.
Now in 2024 my 1996 Dodge pickup which is 28 years old does not seem to be as old.

Something I read a long time ago about time and perspective. Back in grade school, remember how long the years seemed to last? Well if you were 6 years old a year was 1/6th of your life. Now at 61 years old, a year is 1/61th of my life. No wonder it seems to fly.
 
In 1979 my buddy fixed up and drove a '53 Chevy pickup. Thought it was a neat old truck. 26 year old truck.
Now in 2024 my 1996 Dodge pickup which is 28 years old does not seem to be as old.

Something I read a long time ago about time and perspective. Back in grade school, remember how long the years seemed to last? Well if you were 6 years old a year was 1/6th of your life. Now at 61 years old, a year is 1/61th of my life. No wonder it seems to fly.
That is for sure, as a kid Christmas came once every few years, Now is seems like it is a monthly event. Something happened to me this past week, that I thought never would. I turned 80 and I do not know how it even happened! I certainly do not remember being alive that long.
 
and to put another perspective on things, when we are younger we are constantly working to get stuff, a new car, a bigger house, a new table saw, a new Harley but now at 76 years old and having lost my wife 3 years ago I have come to the conclusion that these things really don't matter that much, ya can't take em with ya. 50 years from now you will be gone and nobody is gonna remember that Don had a nice Harley. What I do hope they remember is that Don spent some time helping out a future generations.
 
and to put another perspective on things, when we are younger we are constantly working to get stuff, a new car, a bigger house, a new table saw, a new Harley but now at 76 years old and having lost my wife 3 years ago I have come to the conclusion that these things really don't matter that much, ya can't take em with ya. 50 years from now you will be gone and nobody is gonna remember that Don had a nice Harley. What I do hope they remember is that Don spent some time helping out a future generations.
That is a worthy perspective!! I didn't do much with my grandfathers, but what I did I remember. I kind of take the "Grandpa Walton" approach with my grands. Enjoy the heck out of them each and every time we get together, love them always, be helpful and try to teach them things. I hope to live on past my days on earth through them.
 
I watch and the watch ww2 in color on history channel
An uncle in my bil family is a history professor in a college (retired)out in iowa
When he's in ny I enjoy conversations with him
It's disturbing sometimes to hear what he tells me
 
Getting older makes us all see things with a different perspective. I've been re-watching Band of Brothers and I was talking to one of my nephews tonight about wars and such. As I've gotten older, I've become more and more fascinated by WWII and the war in Vietnam. I'm still in awe at the things people went through during both of those periods in history.

As a kid born in the mid '50s, I heard about WWII a lot from my parent and grandparents, but to me it was a distant historical event, even though it ended just a bit more than a decade before I was born. Vietnam was a much more "real" thing to me because even though I was a kid, I still very was aware of it when it was happening. To my nephew who was born in the mid '80s, Vietnam was his distant historical event, despite the fact that it ended about a decade before he was born. He had a real ah-ha moment when I pointed out that 9/11 and the war in Iraq was his kids' Vietnam, happening about a decade before they were born. Going in the other direction, WWI was pretty much the same to my parents as WWII was to me.

Just one of those things to ponder.
I was born about 2 1/2 months before Pearl Harbor, so don't remember much about WWII... my dad was a farmer with 2 kids at the start and don't know if he tried to enlist or not... I think two of his brothers served, not sure as they never talked about it... his older brother was an engineer with Ling Temco Vault 9n Dallas... my mother's brother served in the merchant marines as a gunner's mate, but rarely talked about it either.

Korean war I was just coming into teens and didn't pay much attention to it, no relatives served there.... Vietnam was my "real" perception of wars.... I was Navy station on Guam during the build up... as a radioman running a fleet broadcast in the ComSta, I saw a lot of information.... I was separated 8 days after Vietnam was declared an official police action... made me a Vietnam era veteran.
 
FYI..I was drafted on December 7 1965. How about that date. got on the bus, went to Chicago,all day, got rejected.
No explanation, but was told they would be coming for me later. I did not want to be a number, so I joined, the 12th Special Forces, USAR.
loved it..proud of my contribution...🇺🇸

bil
 
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