A Short Story

Robert Flournoy

Copyright 2019 by Robert Flournoy   

Photo by Suzy Turbenson on Unsplash
                                       Photo by Suzy Turbenson on Unsplash

Paul J. enlisted in the army in 1967. After basic and AIT training, he was sent to Vietnam where he carried a rifle with an infantry platoon in the 1st Air Cavalry.  He participated in 23 aerial combat assaults, 3 of them into hot LZ's. He received five minor wounds, stayed in the field, and eventually became a squad leader because those ahead of him had been killed by hostile fire. He served three tours, advancing to become a platoon sergeant. In 1971 he left the military, went to college on the GI Bill and worked for 40 years in the corporate world. Although eligible for free health care with the V.A., he pays for medicare with an AARP supplement. He has never once spoken of his combat experiences.

Billy H. graduated from high school in 1970 and enlisted in the air force. He spent 2 years on active duty as a finance clerk in Saigon, RVN . He left the service and began receiving free health care for life via the V.A., having met the requisite criteria of 2 years active duty.  He also receives $670 a month disability for diabetes having met the criteria of serving one day in Vietnam with the assumption that he was exposed to agent orange. Like his mother and father, he is obese. He tells anyone who will listen tales of his hardships in Vietnam.

There are vets, and there are vets.

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