Skip to main content

Fortunate Son

Some folks are born made to wave the flag,
Ooh, they’re red, white, and blue. Yeah!

The year is 1969 and over half of the young men who graduated with me from high school last year are serving in Vietnam.  Everyone talks patriotism; everyone waves the flag, but the war in Vietnam is raging and not everyone gets drafted by the Selective Service.  

The fortunate ones get deferred or find a way to get deferred.  Unable to afford college and unwilling to marry and start a family at such a young age, those who do not qualify for a Selective Service System deferment are classified 1-A and get drafted. The Selective Service lives up to its name; it selects men mostly from the middle and the lower middle class.

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no senator’s son, son.
It ain’t me, it ain’t me; I ain’t no fortunate one, no.

The following year, 1970, my brother is home from his “tour of duty.”  It sounds like spending a year of his life in Vietnam was a vacation; war is anything but. Many of his platoon are dead so everyone calls him the fortunate one. We all know better. The brother who left us will never be the same person who returned.

Some folks inherit star spangled eyes,
Ooh, they send you down to war, Lord.

The daily news runs the names of the fallen heroes, many boys I knew from school, the neighborhood, or church.  Too many are my cousins. All killed in action.

What do you think they thought about right before they died? 


A cuss word?

The Lord’s Prayer maybe or a plea for mercy and forgiveness?

Regret that they won’t be able to keep the promise they made their mamas or their girlfriends about coming home safe?

Hopefully, they knew how much they were loved and will be missed.

And when you ask them, “How much should we give?”
Ooh, they only answer, More! More! More! Yo!

Memorial Day honors all those who were killed in action while serving their country in the United States Armed Forces.  Remember them. Many of them were young men, barely in their twenties.

Don’t forget the fallen heroes.  Make them the true Fortunate Sons. 


Popular posts from this blog

Happy Breastday to Me!

I gave myself a very special birthday present this year – I had surgery. Before you think it was to increase, decrease, or “lift” something, let me tell you it was not cosmetic (though I could probably use a few nips and tucks at my age; the infinite number of creams I buy OTC are not working their promised magic). About four or five months ago, I discovered a hard lump about the size of a large marble in my left armpit.  I had been feeling small pangs of pain in my left chest for several months, but I figured it was just my turn to dance with heart disease.  Everyone in my immediate family is diabetic and suffers from strokes or heart attacks, so I thought – here we go; my turn. I was going to tell my internist about the pangs during my next visit, so imagine my surprise when I discovered the lump. The Drama Queen in me immediately manifested herself – cancer, I thought.  I have cancer. I searched some more and found that the texture on the left side of my left breast felt diffe

Dating Challenged

I stink at dating – always have.   I sputter.   I hyperventilate.   I fail miserably every time. I blame a pathetically underdeveloped gene that got little use before I married in my early twenties, then atrophied, gathering dust and rust, until I became single again in my fifties.   I decided to use this defect to my advantage when I needed to do some investigative reporting a few years back.   While on a newspaper writing assignment on Boomer-aged dating, I sacrificed my dignity and my vanity for the sake of the story (and I got several). Thank goodness, HoneyBunch saved me from all this when we married.  (He comes up with the best dates.) I’ve decided I will “show you mine if you show me yours.”   I will swap dating horror stories with you, but you have to promise to play along. The trick here is to tell about your worst date in 25 words or less.   You must keep it clean and you cannot name names. Our little contest will run only this week and before my next blogger posting.   Me

Grandma’s Dining Table

Twenty five years ago my first husband and I bought a new home with four bedrooms and three baths, but my favorite part of the house was the enormous room you walked into from the front door. It had no dividing wall but the design was to use half of it as a formal living and the other half as a formal dining. From the beginning I decided to make it into one huge dining room that would catch the eye when everyone walked in through the front door of my home.   My three children were very young, but I envisioned them grown and married. We counted five at the time, but one day we would grow to eight, maybe more if we factored in grandchildren, so I bought a table that sat a family of twelve.  My husband thought it silly to look that far ahead and convinced me to buy only ten chairs. The room looked magnificent – the long, majestic table, the ten chairs, the buffet, a couple of real ficus, and a few other nice pieces of furniture – I was pleased. The table lasted longer than t