Were we really at our best back then?

in life •  10 months ago

Swift Boad.jpg

I took the above photo in 1967 while on board
a Swift Boat off the coast of Viet Nam.

While almost everyone involved in it hated the American War in Viet Nam, it is not uncommon to hear, or say, "I loved it over there. That was when I was at my best."

Why do we sometimes think that we loved it? In the beginning, we at least thought we were doing something important. Even though we knew how fucked up the war was, we still had the blind hope that we were doing something that in some strange way would make the world better. Like all stupid sheeple, many of us believed that "our war" really was the war that would end all wars. The horror in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown us how naive that thought is.

But were we really at our best back then? Yes, I think so. And that may be the heart of our problem today. We at least found out what we were truly capable of. We survived under fire. When we came home, the challenges looked puny to us, and so we slacked off. We were unable to translate the edge we had in Viet Nam into an edge to carry us through everyday living. We were at our best, then we came home and found no challenge worthy of keeping us at our best. And no one understood. There was no one to talk to. Since then, we have been disappointed in what we have accomplished, no matter how great or how small. Never again did we do our best, because we learned the hard way that a fucked-up nation could care less about you, even when you are at your best. Warriors are simply human resources as far as most politicians are concerned.

While this may sound like I am bitter, the simple fact of the matter is that I'm not bitter at all. I'm just mad at myself for not figuring things out earlier in life than I have. But that's what this journey is all about, I guess.

NOTE: This is one of the stories from my new book
The Chronicles of Lorenzo - Volume 1
You may download a free copy of it at
https://lorenzohagerty.com/freebooks/
I have placed this book directly into the Public Domain.

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I just discovered your blog and I am struck by the clear, open and honest manner that you share your personal history as well as your thoughts concerning your experiences. Thank you for doing this. It gives many people a lot of food for thought, and thought after all, is what we need most if we hope to do anything of value.