Guest Post by the Late Frank Hooper (a.k.a. Fleabaggs)
Devastating. Made me think of my father who drove a bulldozer across Europe in World War 2 and would not get his Canadian uniform out of the trunk to march on this day, or go down to the Legion to reminisce with the boys. Ever. Or my two grandfathers who both served in the World War 1 . One took a shotgun out into the orchard and blew his head off when I was a baby; the other died of a drinking-related illness when I was five. Both left their mental health on Flanders fields.
This is so important. War is a Racket - nothing more. It costs everything to the participants and enriches the few who wage it. Thank you for posting this.
Back then, at 18 I could serve as cannon fodder for the bankers and the MIC, but I couldn't vote.
But I got lucky, twice. Then later, not so lucky. First, I was lucky enough to come of age after the draft lottery came into effect. Second, I was lucky enough to have lottery numbers that kept me from being drafted the three years I was eligible.
My next older brother enlisted in the marines and came back a different person. Could have been all the vaccines he was required to take.
I just took one during that time, a flu shot that was mandatory my freshman year in college ('71). I got a bad case of pneumonia from it that lasted for months and left me wondering if I might have been better off serving as cannon fodder in Viet Nam for the MIC and the bankers.
And folks wonder why I'm antiwar and antivaxx.
Our Vietnam Vets have never received the compassion they deserve. Every Veteran's Day it's them I pause to think about. There's no way I can even begin to know or understand what it's like for any soldier on the field of battle or in a war zone, but Mr. Hooper's experience, and that of millions like him, breaks my heart. This is a compelling and needed post. Thank you.
"We all fell off a Norman Rockwell calendar and into a bankers’ war. It never occurred to us that the government would lie to start a war." Most important line; all wars are bankers wars. That is the reality in which we have lived, almost forever.
Such a great post Margaret, thank you for all you do!
Thank you for sharing this heart wrenching story. Born in 1943, I'm of the Vietnam generation. Fortunately, I volunteered for 6 months active duty in 1961, and served the balance of my reserve enlistment without being called back to active duty. Still, I bought the domino theory, which to this day seems credible to me. U.N. and (mostly) U.S. troops tried to stop a full communist takeover of all of Korea and succeeded. It seemed therefore logical to stop the communist advance in Vietnam. In 1968, I almost reupped as an Air Force pilot, but thankfully didn't. I don't believe every politician supporting the Vietnam war did so for cynical, self-interest. Likely they were genuinely concerned about the spread of communism, which in fact was a cruel ideology for the people that suffered under it. I don't believe anyone, other than the politically well-connected, would have chosen to live in Stalin's USSR, Mao's China, Pol Pot's Cambodia, or Fidel's Cuba, given an alternative.
All these decades later, any idealism I once held for defending "democracy and freedom" abroad, has entirely vanished. I don't believe recent US involvement abroad has more than a shred of sincerity. Unfortunately, however, patriotism is still a hot seller, and too many innocents fall for the scam. From now on I suggest letting the vocal warmongers put their money where their mouths are. Let them fight it out amongst themselves and leave us alone.
First I hope this isn't taken the wrong way. I am not trying to minimize what anyone of that era endured at the hands of their fellow citizens. As a veteran of oif/oef/New Dawn I share a kinship with other veterans of all eras.
So here goes my run on sentence.
I see similarity's in your opening paragraph between nam vets being ostracized on their return from a war they didn't ask for and a government that hung them out to dry and myself and many others being a members of the unjabbed club being called murderers, & it's a pandemic of the unvaccinated etc...
There seems to be a pattern playing out in this regard. I just thought it was a curious coincidence.
Such a vital piece of writing, Margaret, to republish. It will haunt me, the low-tech war before the drones made it bloodless--on our side. I don't know what we're sliding into but it's taking all I've got spiritually to see it ending well. I so appreciate you keeping war real for all of the armchair Rambos.
A moving and poignant essay that touches the soul. The horrors that are inflicted on our fellow humans at the behest criminal psychopaths within highest levels of Government, Corporations,MIC, Big Pharma etc. are beyond belief. I pray that one day these armchair murderers will be brought to justice. Thank you Margaret Anna Alice 🙏❤️
My dad and his brother shipped off to Vietnam. He told me it took years to readjust to normal life - as if there is such a thing after that. Over the years he’s told me fleeting stories, awful, horrific scenarios that seem impossible, unimaginable, yet are very much real. I don’t ever ask him to divulge, just listen when he decides to share. Unlike Frank Hooper “Fleabaggs,” my father was able to acclimate to civilian life and family with no noticeable difficulties or struggles. But if one thing is certain, my father can bear the weight of the world on his shoulders and you’d never know. He was born in Queens and is as tough as nails. He’s softened over the years for sure, and in these tumultuous times he has become my one constant. Thank god we see eye to eye. MAA - thank you for this meaningful post on a most meaningful day. Frank Hooper mattered, his words and deeds matter. All Veterans matter. We are no longer in the dark, grasping for freedom with every fiber of our being. ♥️🇺🇸
I met a vet once who came to speak at a My Lai event I was running. He had the same haunted look as Frank did, these men of war who returned with their souls crushed, cursed to walk the earth trying to convince we should never lift arms against one another and falling on deaf ears, meeting apathetic eyes. He hated the “thank you for your service” line above all.
Thank you for sharing this moving article. And thank you for the boost. But most of all, thank you for playing your part in waking humanity. It’s not an easy job, but somebody’s gotta do it. 🙏
This post moved me more than I can actually put in words...
Wish i could hug fleabag.
Heartbreaking, but beautiful writing. I was married to a Recon Marine who took his own life, leaving me and our 3 & 5 year old behind. He used to tell me "stories" about his deployments. I found them difficult to believe at the time. I now know they were all true. His suicide took me down the war rabbit hole. I'll never forgive the "bankers" and their allies who fund the MIC and destroy lives.
was very young but felt the foreboding darkness of the nightly horrific visuals narrated by Walter Cronkite on our B&W TV… followed by the chipper sing song ad jingles for Virginia Slims cigarettes ‘you’ve come a long way baby’, brokerage accounts ‘you look like you just heard from Dean Witter’… Jane Fonda’s theatrics and the subhuman treatment of our returning Veterans… Never Forget.