Comments on life, the universe and everything from an aging Sixties survivor.

Location: Massachusetts, United States

Ummm, isn't "about me" part of the point of the blog?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Something Else I Don't Get

In common with a lot of veterans, I can think of a great many things I would rather have been doing when I was off serving my country or whatever we call it now. Hindsight is wonderful that way.

Not too long ago, I met a man at a party who struck up a conversation because he too, he said, was a Navy veteran. His story of boot camp, sub school, washing out of sub school and being assigned to a destroyer all rang fairly true. He went on to say that he had been wounded in an unmentionable place when some Viet Cong set off an explosive device under the wing bridge whilst he was standing on it during a stay in Cam Ranh Bay. Cam Ranh having been a fairly secure place at the time he mentioned, I filed this under the heading "sea story" and forgot about it. Difficult to believe, yes, but of course not impossible.

Some while after, I happened to see a news item mentioning the destroyer in question, which recalled the story to mind. I googled the ship and quickly found her official history. Never in Viet Nam: hmm. Therefore, never attacked by VC. This led me to poke and twiddle around a bit and find out the teller of the sea story had never been in the Navy at all.

Just recently, someone running for local office not far from here was caught out in a similar story. He had been running his veteran tale for years.


Why not embrace the good fortune that kept you out of the service? Find some other, more constructive way to prove your manhood, if that's what this is all about. Of all the lies one can tell in this world, pretending to be a veteran may be the most absurd.

It is certainly the easiest one to be caught on. Every unit, every vessel, has its history. In addition to the name of the storyteller, one has all those records available. One also has the clear memory of the distinctive features of each service's subculture, features that the civilian usually can't emulate.

It was a damn good sea story, though: I wonder where he got it.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home