I had an M14 once. Or thrice. Maybe 4 times.
The year was 1967. I was in the army. For no good reason. Insanity. I had no sense of putting myself in harm’s way. I just enlisted while boys like me were doing everything to avoid service. Not just some boys. All the boys. Like me.
And they gave me a gun. Not a gun. A rifle. A weapon. And I learned to shoot. And I qualified by shooting. At Fort Bragg in Basic Training. And at Fort McLellan in Infantry AIT. And at Fort Benning in Infantry Officer Candidate School.
It just occurred to me on this night, in November 2016, in the 3rd month of my 70th year, in a trailer park in Beaumont California, that I was learning to kill men.
What’s wrong with me? Would I do it again? If the ball had bounced a different way, and I had been sent to Vietnam, would I have killed yellow people?
I’m out of words.