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Young people have no idea about Vietnam

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POSTED May 24, 2009 2:20 a.m.
Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
I’m a retired Army sergeant and find this to be the absolute truth. Most of our middle aged and very young people have no idea what we went through during the Vietnam era and Cuban conflict. To them it is just something to read about.

They don’t believe the true stories that their grand fathers and elderly fathers tell them. (It’s only in movies, not real at all.)

It’s impossible to believe that a wonderful Vietcong would sharpen a bamboo shoot and place human feces on it. They hoped an American soldier would step on it and run it through their combat boot and through the bottom of their foot and out the top. Not instant death, but usually a loss of that foot or the leg altogether.

My wife and I just arrived home from a mini-reunion of the Eureka High School  — a bunch of old folks that still keep in contact through a Class of ‘56 Bulletin Board. We have fun and all.

I recall high school typing class meaning we used those old non electric - Royal, Smith Corona, etc typewriters. In the latter part of the 1956 school year I had the honor to take my last speed test on a new IBM Electric. My teacher got mad because I beat all the girls in my Class. I did 102 words per minute on it and the best girl did 60. I’ve never been sorry I learned typing or as some thought I “wasted a good class period doing useless typewriting.” It sure helped when I got on my last job at Cargill Salt in Newark, Calif.

If you ever get the chance to organize such a thing with your high school senior graduation class, please do!  We meet every year in Reno and usually with 400 plus members. We have our major class reunions sponsored by the class. Ours do that also, but since, at age 70, none of us buy green bananas, or say “see ya next week” because it might not happen. One gal had a heart attack on Monday, May 18.  We had 40 couples this year and it seems to become more interesting each year.

Thanks for your time.
Ray Carter
Manteca
May 19, 2009
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