As a postscript to this recent Memorial Day weekend, and as a tribute to all who have served (and now serve) in military uniforms, I offer you these important statements:
First, there is this very important posting from a former shipmate, fellow Navy and USS KITTY HAWK (CV-63) veteran Paul Davis; make sure you visit Paul's first-rate blog regularly because you will discover and learn something interesting and important every day.
Second, I pivot from my praise for Paul Davis's blog, and I tell you this:
When I was in the United States Navy (1966-1969, and 1975-1994; beginning as an E-1 and retiring as an O3E), places like Viet Nam and existential threats to the United States from Communism (from USSR, Cuba, southeast Asia, and elsewhere) were main items on my daily menu of food-for-thought. Serving on behalf of peace-loving Americans, I was proudly at the poised and pointed end of the nuclear spear, the lethal weapon halting the spread of Communism. That was my bold and unshakeable raison d'être; yes, without apologies to liberal, anti-war doves, my identity was completely wrapped up in my warrior, hawk career. I followed orders, served proudly, and remained 100% committed to the task. However, I admit that I was (and I remain) woefully ignorant about the actual enemy. Now, though, with my uniforms long ago abandoned but with the American flag still on display in my front yard -- where it appears every day and not only on Memorial Day weekend -- I will be making up for my past omissions and shortcomings, and I will become a more complete, well-educated naval officer by learning more about the true nature of my military commitment, the deadly and tireless enemy, and contemporary history.
My literary blogging days are not over, and I will still be focusing frequently and regularly on literature, but I have added a focus: military and political history. The first destination is Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam by Fredrik Logevall:
So stay tuned for further announcements about my discoveries.