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queen of glitter gnomes
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Within the Baby Boomer Generation is the Vietnam Generation. A very significant event of that time.
I would add part of the "silent generation" to the Vietnam Generation. Draft eligibility was between ages 18 and 26. At one point, I figured that the oldest person to have been eligible for the draft was born in 1938, and the youngest was born in 1952 or 1953.
 

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I missed the draft by 3 years & my brother by 1 year but my 2nd cousin was drafted. We all had a party for him & fortunately he made it home. Another cousin was already in the army & flew helicopters. I remember him coming home & telling us about it when I was in high school.
 

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queen of glitter gnomes
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I missed the draft by 3 years & my brother by 1 year but my 2nd cousin was drafted. We all had a party for him & fortunately he made it home. Another cousin was already in the army & flew helicopters. I remember him coming home & telling us about it when I was in high school.
I'm glad that your family members survived the experience. It must have been a nightmare for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I avoided the Draft during Vietnam by enlisting in the USMC. My Draft Notice came to my home when I was in Boot Camp. My father had fun calling up the Draft Board and telling them I would not be appearing. Served in Vietnam as an Infantry Fire Team Leader from 6/67 to 2/68.
I have no regrets.
 

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Spam-I-am
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I was born in 62 but I do recall watching the last troops coming home on T.V.
my uncle who served on a P.T. boat in the South Pacific from 42-46 is still kicking ass at 93
that tough old bastard can run circles around any 20 year old
you are the last of the ''real war'' generation
back when real men fought real wars
I salute you with honors @USMCVIETNAM
god bless
 

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Chatterbox, MOTM August 2013
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Most of us who post here are “Generation Jones” (1955-1964). The last draft call was in 1972, so we missed it.
My high school class (1975) was the last to have to register with the Selective Service.

The Vietnam vets were more from the earlier batch of boomers (those born in the late 40’s and early 50’s. More than anything else, I think that event splits the boomers into two distinct groups. I think it’s more appropriate to call that earlier batch of Boomers (1946-1954) “The Vietnam Generation”. The second wave of us, Gen Jones, was still in junior high and high school. Although many of us had older siblings or friends or relatives who served, and we remember the events, we were a bit too young to fully identify with that. What I remember most (besides the story I relate below) is wearing a POW/MIA bracelet. Everyone I knew had one.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/POW_bracelet

Here is the airman who was on mine:
CAPT. Samuel E Waters, Jr.
USAF 12-13-66



(aircraft downed 1966, MIA, declared dead 1977, body later recovered
His rank at time of recovery was Major, having been promoted while MIA)

Virtual Vietnam Veterans Wall of Faces | SAMUEL E WATERS JR | AIR FORCE

(scroll through the photos to see him in the cockpit, closer to what he looked like at the time of his death)

Seems fitting that I’m posting this today: 12-13, the day he went missing.


I wore the bracelet all through jr high and most of high school. It had finally broken, the metal finally giving out from taking it on and off (we weren’t allowed to wear them in PE at school). I kept the broken pieces. It didnt’ seem right to throw it away. A few years ago, I gave it to a friend who was going to Washington, DC on vacation. She left it at the Vietnam Memorial Wall near his name for me.

We (Gen Jones) grew up watching it on televsion, and hearing our parents talk about it. It affected us, but not in the way it touched those slightly older than us. While we can’t fully identify, I think because we grew up hearing about the war and the loss and sacrifice of those were drafted, ours is the last generation to remember what it was like to have our Armed Forces not be totally voluntary. I think we, as a society, view war differently now because it doesn’t randomly touch us like it did when we had the draft.

I think, now, a lot of people don’t know anyone personally who is currently serving in the military. It was different back then. Random selection meant it was more likely to be someone in your sphere of reference. My best friend’s older brother (the family lived across the street) was drafted, served, and died. Grew up with the guy. I still remember the day the sedan pulled up to their house and the men in miltary garb walked up to the door. We kids were out front, playing baseball. I remember we all just stopped what we were doing and ran home to tell our mothers what was happening. I’m sitting here, now, crying, remembering it.
 

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Most of us who post here are “Generation Jones” (1955-1964). The last draft call was in 1972, so we missed it.
My high school class (1975) was the last to have to register with the Selective Service.
I was HS class of '74. I had to go register for the draft but because (I assume) that they knew they were no longer actively drafting, my draft card was issued with most of the fields having "xxxxx" entered in them.

Even knowing that the draft calls had ended, it still was a pretty sobering experience for an 18 year old to have to go register. I grew up in a small town (~15k residents) that had already lost quite a few young men by that time.
 

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I was HS class of '74. I had to go register for the draft but because (I assume) that they knew they were no longer actively drafting, my draft card was issued with most of the fields having "xxxxx" entered in them.

Even knowing that the draft calls had ended, it still was a pretty sobering experience for an 18 year old to have to go register. I grew up in a small town (~15k residents) that had already lost quite a few young men by that time.
I missed class of '74 by a week or two so I was class of '75. I remember registering for the draft in '74 & oddly enough my dad insisted on coming with me. He was really nice that day which was weird because normally he was an asshole. He hated me until I was around 35. He was a teletyper (morse code) in the Army Air Corps & went to Germany just as WW2 was winding down.
 

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opps

[QUOTE=MsBossyPants;
The Vietnam vets were more from the earlier batch of boomers (those born in the late 40’s and early 50’s. More than anything else, I think that event splits the boomers into two distinct groups. I think it’s more appropriate to call that earlier batch of Boomers (1946-1954) “The Vietnam Generation”.

Being 18 in 1968, I definately identify as a "VN Generation". Your comment about the VN experience being devisive is very observant. However, I would suggest that it created way more than two divisions. Part of the tragedy is that there is so much emotion and/or trauma associated w/ all who were touched by VN that I have observed very little ability (or even willingness) of the different factions to try to understand the perspective of the others. For example, there was a huge faction of anti-war activists (myself included) who viewed many of the VN soldiers as "victims" of the government and cultural misinformation, miseducation, misleading portrayal, or outright intentional deceptive lies about what the war over there was all about and what was really going on over there. Many of us in this faction were fighting to bring our boys home, and to quit sending them over there to get killed off senselessly and to hold the U.S. govt and the U.S. military of ruthlessly destroying so many of our men's lives (as well as the lives of so many innocent Asians who were just trying to resist OUR military occupation and the aggressive military occupation of their country by any other foreigners. Yet we were often being portrayed as haters of the soldiers. So much injustice and barbaric political practices during that era. The really sad part is that in spite of the telling of greatly improved and more accurate accounts of what all took place related to U.S. actions regarding VN, our country didn't seem to learn any helpful take-away lessons about staying out of other country's business, keeping our govt in check from deceitful war mongering propaganda, finding and electing competent national leaders, demanding true representative govt, demanding govt. transparency, etc., etc.
In my opinion, every high school history class should require student research on the historic information about that era as reported by "Vietnam Vets Against The War", the Oliver Stone videos about "The Untold History Of The U.S." Furthermore, I think every high school student should be required to comtemplate and come up with suggestions of how to not repeat the mistakes of our country, our govt. and our military leaders during that era.
 

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I turned 18 in 1965, the year the buildup in Vietnam began. I didn’t pass my draft physical in June of that year but managed to enlist in the Army in 1969. I asked for the Infantry and got it, then became a LRRP and Airborne Ranger. I was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Ft. Bragg and didn’t get to Vietnam until much later in life.

The Army was not a pleasant experience but I never regretted joining. I spent most of my lifetime serving my country and do not regret that choice either.

Military age men of the Vietnam generation faced a choice. Serve or not. I am pleased with my selection. The older I get, the more content I am with the path I chose.

North Koreans killed my brother in Korea, in July 1950. I knew that the threat of aggression in Vietnam was real. My choice was to step up to the plate and start swinging. Now, nearly 50 years have passed since I enlisted. If I had it to do over I wouldn’t change a thing.
 

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queen of glitter gnomes
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I graduated from high school in 1974, although, if my fourth grade teacher had her way, I would have graduated in 1975. As I look back, I think that my fourth grade teacher was right.

I remember Vietnam very vividly from the horrific television images that I saw every day on the news. They found their way to my nightmares, where they occasionally surface. They are scraps of images without words. I did not understand then why we were having that war that I thought would never end and, even now, after all of these years, I still don't understand the purpose of the Vietnam War. It has caused long term damage, especially because of Agent Orange. This damage is in the form of birth defects, leukemia, and other cancers. I would like to say that we learned from that disaster but I would be wrong. There have been far too many wars fought since then, and we never know the real purpose of the wars.

I am grateful that none of the boys that I went to school with were drafted. The draft was already ended by the time that we graduated. The older kids were not as fortunate.
 
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