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From [info - personal] elf 

One of those patriotic holidays

I've said some very harsh and negative things about the military, mainly because I think some very harsh and negative things about the military. (And if you want to know what those are, pester me to make another post, on a different day. This isn't the time for them.)

My father, who lives with us, is a veteran. He served in Viet Nam because he was drafted; no bold sense of patriotism made him enlist. When he got his notice, he was told by friends and mentors that he had a good chance of getting out of it--he could claim to be a conscientious objector, since he had such a long history of activity in the church, and had attended (or was attending?) a religious college.

He declined to try. Said that, if someone came into his house to try to harm his family, he'd have no objection to killing them, and that should be the line for conscientious objectors. He went off to war. (Or, erm, "police action.") This was, hmm, early 60's? Pre-1965, I believe.

My dad's bright. Clever and funny and educated and understands how things work. One of those people who can take apart a broken toaster, fix the burned-out wire in the middle, put it back together with three odd bits of metal left out... and it works better now. Also, people *like* him. He's friendly. And he plans ahead--he's the guy who remembers to bring not just a can-opener to the campout, but a pair of tongs for fetching things that get dropped into the fire. And he has that edge of spiritual wisdom that make people pay attention when he talks.

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