1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


Youth: The condition of being young.
A young person, esp, a young man
Or male adolescent.
Dan Duff  July 7, 2010

Youth seems such a distant memory now, yet it seems like only yesterday that I sat on the corner billboard just above the Snack Shack trying to contemplate just where my future was going to take me. I had just graduated from high school and after the parties and the elation had waned I came back to the same stark realization that my future did not seem as rosy as I had thought it would be once I was out of school. Like ninety percent of the gals and guys that had graduated in the years before me, I knew that I would have to leave my small home town to find employment.

In a moment an army recruiter who had seen two of my brothers take the plunge into military service came by and after a few minutes I decided that this was at least a job for the next three years. This same recruiter had also graduated from my school back in the late thirties. He had visited my school a couple of times and we had talked before. I said a quick goodbye to my mother and I was off.

I served in Germany for most of my term and did not see combat. When I got out we were just starting to send advisors in to try to teach the South Vietnamese modern combat. I thought that would be about as far as we would go in that theater of operation. After all we had a whole United Nations to take care of that little country which was not much bigger than New Jersey. Boy was I wrong. It wasn’t long before we had committed our full military contingency and treasury into another shooting war.

Everyone had heard and repeated the phrase that World War One was the war to end all wars. That only worked until the Thirties when Germany and Japan decided they would take over the world. America did not want to get into that one just like we didn’t want to get into the first one, but we did and it seems that since then we have been part of and footed the bill for just about every outbreak of hostilities around the globe. The only things we have come away with from any of these military endeavors, since World War II, is a flat pocketbook and another lost generation of young men.

This country has given the lives of over a million of those young men. Another recorded one million wounded. This does not take into account the hundreds of thousands of young men who came back with mental and physical disabilities that are not reported in statistics. Many of these young men are not able to re-establish any kind of relationship with employers or personal contacts.

Now we are committed to trying to keep enough of the population in two Arab countries to keep their opium fields productive and the oil fields in Iraq out of the hands of our other arch-enemies. This is the first time in history when we were not wanted by anyone in the countries we occupy.

It would appear that the standing military force, which was established to protect the United States of America has and is being used to protect every country in the world except the United States of America. We have two borders with thousands of miles of open border for the enemies of this country to pour across and not one soldier to protect it. We have gangs of drug lords on the southern border who have taken American soil hostage and not one soldier to protect the citizens of these areas.

It is bad enough that our country is wasting generations of young men, wouldn’t it seem that common sense would dictate that we protect our country first?