Col. Sheena Johnson, homesick for the USA, comforted by Rawclyde!
I’ve never been to Afghanistan. I’ll never go to Afghanistan. When I was in the U.S. Army fer 4 years (1980-1984), they sent me to Hawaii to support support during peace time. Hard duty. But somebody had to do it.
A few years back, the Taliban government wouldn’t hand over Ben Laden, so our government with our military wiped them out ~ and Afghanistan became our broken nation to rebuild ~ and NATO has partnered with us. So now we’re all in Afghanistan. Lots of us just don’t know it.
Welcome to Afghanistan ~ one tough nut to crack. How’s it feel, American? How’s it feel trying to rebuild Afghanee Land on the cheap in the image of yourself? Are you in denial?
We’re rebuilding Afghanistan in the image of ourself because its the only way we know how to rebuild a nation ~ and this particular nation is such a basket case that all we can really do is fill it with hardboiled eggs, say “Happy Easter,” and leave. It’s taking us about twelve years. Hopefully we can leave unlike the way we left Saigon. We got chased out of there. Hopefully we can leave Afghanistan somewhat more smoothly ~ maybe somewhat like we left Iraq. We’re trying very hard ~ except for the Tea-Party Republicans in the US House of Representatives. They shut our government down for two weeks recently. It’s like they don’t even know we’re at war in Afghanistan. Their shutdown of the government probably helped the Taliban & their assorted cronies kill more Americans ~ maybe like us draft-dodgers did in Vietnam. So I guess many of us are guilty at one time or another.
I always end up having to explain ~ if I was a draft-dodger yesteryear, how is it that I was in the US Army too? Well, I draft-dodged. Then later I lied my way into the Army. They knew I was lying about never having been a fugitive of the selective service system. They wanted good liars at the time. I’d make a good spy.
I wouldn’t go to Vietnam. We were the aggressor. However, the Soviet Union was the “aggressor,” incidentally in Afghanistan, when I enlisted. I was also unemployed and needed a job. I was 30 years old. 1980. I was a crazy boy. I still am at 63.
My older brother, Dill, hates reading about this worse than I hate writing about it. He volunteered, US Army, went to Vietnam. He was a helicopter mechanic & crew-chief at Pleiku & came back a silent sergeant ~ became an airline mechanic and in due time retired ~ a regular guy ~ married twice ~ two sons. And our family is proud of him.
About two weeks after he got home from the Vietnam War, I showed him an article in Time Magazine about Pleiku getting run over in the TET Offensive. He barely missed a big boom boom. He didn’t say anything. He just read the paragraph & quietly became a right winger. I became a left winger. And the eagle happily flutters its wings as it swoops across the canyon.
My little brother is an artist. My big sister was a holistic masseuse. Now she is an old lady. We’re all getting pretty old now.
The theme of Old Timer Chronicle II has something to do with, obviously, Afghanistan. The reason for this is ~ I have a TV now but Afghanistan is rarely mentioned on the news. It’s not mentioned too often in newspapers either lately. Yet we still have people there in harm’s way. So, kind of like a newspaper editor, I’m kind of covering the war until we leave there, hopefully as scheduled come November, 2014.
After all, the US Army is the only entity that ever really payed me to write. They made me a journalist for a while.
! My gal on leave !
Col. Sheena Johnson, U.S. Army