View Full Version : Excellent article on history by Pat Conroy
The Man I Should Have Been
While I was protesting the war, he was fighting it
by Pat Conroy
(from Forbes ASAP - Reprinted in Reader's Digest, Turning Point, May 2002)
Pat Conroy(author of The Prince of Tides and The Great Santini) wrote this article a few years back, describing the epiphany he had when he spent the night as a guest in the home of a man who was a hero in the Vietnam War. Conroy was a self-described draft dodger and anti-war demonstrator during Vietnam, but he seems to feel now that if he could go back to that time he might do things differently.
Very good article.
I wonder what would have happened if that young man had been confronted by the writings of his older self....
And, even if he was a coward in the Vietnam War, it took a brave man to admit it now.
I agree. I think that's one of the reasons not many people are willing to forgive Jane Fonda. She hasn't found the guts yet to admit she might have actually done some harm with her actions back then. She's done a sort of Bill Clinton semi-apology, but without actually admitting she did anything wrong. I bet a lot of Vietnam vets are hanging in there and want to live long enough to go and dance(or other deeds) on her grave. :cool:
Whew....just read the article.
I don't know what to write. As a retired Army NCO...I never wondered why there seemed to be a little dust in the air..and in my eyes, whenever the National Anthem is played; or the many times I have visited The Wall..or witnessed the changing of the guard at the Tomb.
She might not be the perfect country, and we do have our problems. But this is the country that people will risk anything just to come to her shores and become an American citizen.
I've always enjoyed Pat Conroy's books and he has been one of my favorite modern day writers. I remember reading "Lords of Discipline" when I was in West Germany back in 1986. I was a homesick 18 year old kid, new to the Army and abroad for the very first time. Being a South Carolinian, I was hating Germany and all of it's cold grayness. And reading that first Pat Conroy book returned me to South Carolina even if only for brief moments. He wrote so accurately that I could imagine myself walking the streets of Charleston, something I had done so many times before. I could smell the smells and see the sights on The Battery, The Slave Market (since renamed), Folly Beach and all of the other wondrous places of my home state. I thanked goodness for a Pat Conroy, draft dodger/war protester or not. Reading this article only makes me appreciate him all the more.
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