Sunday, March 24, 2013

...teach a man to fish...

...we all have a mentor(probably multiples...as in my case) but one dude stands above the rest...

...the teachers of us, guiding lights, the dude(s) that we looked up to when we was coming up...the folks that share wisdom with no thought of personal gain(sometimes shares it even when they're not trying too...)

...when we was kids we used to play two things(mostly), baseball and guns...now when i use the term 'playing guns' it means many things...army, cops-n-robbers, cowboys-n-indians, great white hunters whatever...we built elaborate forts and defended them from marauders, we swam the pond and stormed a european beachhead, dug foxholes, trenches, built a firebase in a jungle and had night fights...man did we play hard...

...as we aged the playing guns continued, we all had BB guns, we were all shot...some severely, but we learned quickly, levels of power to pain to penetration to asswhoopin'...lol, anyway this one guy(he was a "guy", we were kids) always asked where we were going, what we were doing, and his son(who lived somewhere else with the mom, and visited occasionally, whom we knew...)was moving in with him someday soon, and he was just wanting to know in case the boy showed up kinda attitude, over the years we got to know him pretty good...eventually the boy stopped coming altogether(never saw him again) but old dude stayed in our click, cuz he was one of our gangs 'cool' parents...parents that played with the kids, took interest in us, minded us and reminded us..sometimes he walked into the woods with us, gave us tips so to speak...and he talked some, about his army days in southeast asia (my dad was in korea, grandpa ww2, a couple uncles and older cousins was in vietnam but they didn't talk about it, one uncle did...talked and trained me about it, yet another mentor...different story) a newer war and all us young'uns ate up the stories like candy...dude was quiet...all the time espousing noise discipline, on most occasions he would follow up his lessons with "that's what i tell my boy..."

...only he didn't... he didn't "tell his boy"...we as kids never knew the dudes son to come back, as we aged he never did...but that never seemed to stop the comment " that's what i tell my boy"...as time progressed most of the kids forgot about dude, i often hunted the woods we used to play in, plenty of times we killed critters together and ate 'em on the spot, he taught me alot...i mean, dad taught us alot, all the fine basics, ethics and such...this dudes teachings were of a different level(unknown at that time, it was a survivalist mindset) at 12 and 13 years old it was playing...from 14 on while deer hunting, he taught me the arts of camouflage(and my affinity w/tiger striped),  laws of optics, lights and shadows, using the wind in my favor, still hunting(which isn't "still" at all when performed correctly), building shelters, fires, snares and such...he let me fire his M1, M14, and his many AR type rifles, including a select fire version(which i promised, back then, not to tell anyone) i was hooked, black rifle disease had set in...he must have had three or four 1911 models too, he showed me how to use, and maintain them all...

...there was only a few times that i remember him talking, in depth, of his tours in vietnam...conversations initiated by too much beer, grass, and stupid questions...he did four tours, '67-'69 and again in '70-'71, he said he was shot 3 times, and spent most of 1969 in the hospital, his last tour he stepped on a toe popper and blew three of his toes off (only after that did i notice his slight limp favoring his left side) he spoke highly of training the locals to fight the communist in his "early days", he never glorified the violence though, and he had nothing but respect for his adversaries(minus the occasional "gook" or "little commie bastards" remarks) saying often he learned much from their methods, until he was shot then it became vengeful...laughed out loud when telling us how "charlie put a bounty on us,they called us green faced commandos or some such shit...we killed those lil' fuckers as if it was free"...thus, him lending some of his anti personnel skills to us, communist were still the enemy then, he told us all kinds of ways to "kill the commie bastards"...
"...course everything's different in triple canopy jungle...you boys will have to adjust for effect.", he taught us about booby traps, trip wires for booby traps and perimeter breach alarms, need to be scrutinized from all directions by the installers for maximum concealability, and are as varied as the terrain(and literally using it)there are some ancient booby traps with horrific ability to kill or maim...everything old is new again...

...i never saw 'evidence' of his service, save a few fotogs on the wall there was nothing to indicate he was a military man, all of them he was in beret, boonie hat, or do-rags, faces painted, standing with indigenous peoples of vietnam/laos/cambodia,  i saw his medals once(many of them) stashed in a couple cigar boxes, on a couple occasions i heard his buds call him sarge...other than that, no idea...no idea of rank and privilege, he maintained no love of government or law enforcement, often deriding both, he accurately prophesied then the state of the nation we find ourselves in today, how i wish i heeded the warnings sooner...the last time i saw Rick was 1999...the last we spoke was '03 or '04, he was ate up with cancer, still smokin' marlboros and drinkin' budweiser beer, chasing the pain away with his grass(which he grew for himself) deciding to self medicate versus seeking 'professional' medical attention, he died in 2009...

"liberating from oppression was my obedience to God...sure hope He remembers most all those fuckers i sent to hell were Godless communist, oh well, karma's a bitch, one bad bitch with a claymore"  was one of the last things i remember Rick saying...

...he's been visiting my dreams lately, reminding me to tell my boy everything...

...and i will...


                 

10 comments:

Felinae said...

I'm gonna be all girly here and say, that was a beautiful post, my friend, thanks for sharing your memories.

Have a great week!

Hugs to you & yours
~Felinae~

Aggie said...

Wonderful post! Thank you for sharing!

Ken said...

...thank you ladies, just one of those things i had to write about to get out of the ol'noggin...

Brigid said...

That was a great bit of writing, and something that many need to be remined of.

Ken said...

...wow, thank you

...coming from you Miss Bridgid, that has to be one of the greatest compliments i've ever received...

Tohru Honda said...

That's really touching! It really moved me. I just thought you should know this somewhat reminded me of a book called "Wild at Heart" by John Eldridge. I recommend you check out.

God bless.

Kaitlyn

Ken said...

...thanx Miss Kaitlyn, i'll check out the book next trip to town...GodBless

Anonymous said...

Great post,
Very interesting, putting your personal experiences out there for all to readI and learn from is enjoyable to read.
Thanks for sharing.

Aggie said...

Just checking, hope all is well. My domain got screwed and I'm writing over here now.
http://shouldbelimited.blogspot.com/

BBC said...

I took fourth place in a shooting match on Saturday, not bad for an old drunk.