I always had mixed emotions about the war. I had been in ROTC at NC State but was yelled at because I bounced when I marched. I was asked to take a semester off by State because of my grades and was working construction when I got my draft number which was well over 300, so I knew I would not be called.
One of my best friend’s father was the oldest jumping colonel in the Green Berets, and he hated the war. He said that the politicians had ruined it. I think he even told his son not to go, and they were a multi-generation military family. I came from a high school with 53 guys in my graduating class and two died in the war; one was blown up on a boat and the other died from a medical mistake. Other guys from my school died in combat, and I felt that our brotherhood had paid a high price but one that was honorable.
I marched on the Capitol in Raleigh once to protest the war, but it was because I was trying to date a girl who was a hippie. I was always torn between a strong sense of obligation to serve and all of the messages we received that said it was wrong. I think I still am.