Learning To Love You More




Assignment #59
Interview someone who has experienced war.

Hanna Coy
Tucson, Arizona USA



Benjamin F. was a junior officer in the Navy, in Vietnam in 1969
We had a young Lt. Commander in the Navy who never went on the boats with us. He would always stay behind. One day, though, he decided to go on the boats because of suspected Viet Cong activity close by, and thought it would be fun.
Q: Do you know for sure he thought that?
A: Why else would he want to go? Because he wasn't going to come face to face with any people -- you'd be sitting off the beach lobbing mortars, so it would be safe.
We took two boats, and we were shooting and putting mortar rounds into the place where we thought the Viet Cong were. He decided to jump from one boat to the other. He slipped and sprained his ankle. It wasn't too serious, but he had to hobble around for a while.
Later one of the yeomen (clerks in the Navy are called yeomen) told us he had put himself in for a Purple Heart for that injury, so we all made fun of him for that, and it turned out that his Purple Heart was turned down.
Q: You didn't like this guy?
A: Well, nobody likes the guy who sits behind the desk.