I have been reading Tom Brokow’s book “Boom voices of the Sixties” centered around 1968, and it got me to thinking about my own 1968 and 2008. In January 1968 I was at Fort Lewis, Wash., with two weeks of Army basic training yet to complete.
Backing up a bit I had met my wife Lorrie for the first time in mid September of 1967. We dated until I went into the Army.
For us folks who still remember what a written letter was like to receive and send, because of those letters I soon realized I was in “deep smit” with this girl, so I took a chance and to my surprise she said, “Yes.”
When I got home in January we got married and I was off to Fort Myer, Va., which is Arlington National Cemetery. This was a great place to be until the assassination of M.L. King. By June, Lorrie was finishing up the first of 34 years of teaching in Enumclaw and I had been assigned temporary duty to the White House during the Johnson administration. I received permission to live off the post and found an apartment for Lorrie and I to move into when she arrived.
I asked for a three-day pass to get moved in and settled, but found that I was given the honor to participate in Robert Kennedy’s funeral and when that was finished I could have the three days.
Everything was like “jake” (another old expression). When she arrived we threw everything into the apartment because one car doesn’t hold very much. I wanted to show her around Washington, D.C. by the light of day. When we pulled into the main gate of Fort Myer to get post stickers for the car they said, “Mike, you need to go see the Old Man this afternoon.”
Although I still had one day on my pass, I ran in real quick to see what was up and guess what – there lay my orders for Vietnam. To make a long story short, we hardly unpacked before we packed up again and headed back for good ol’ Enumclaw and home. Then, as the worm continued to turn, I landed in Vietnam on Friday the 13th and the rest of the story – let’s just say it was a bit short of a walk in the park.
But the point of all this is Lorrie and my 1968 started out absolutely fantastic and just kept getting better and better and then went south in a hurry and kept going south. Is this beginning to sound like 2008? But in our 1968-69, the good lord saw fit to get me home in one piece. So if your 2008 seems to be heading farther south than you would like, try a little prayer. First, look around we live in the United States of America. Give thanks for all we have. One of the great things about America is that things always get better. This is not so in many places in the world.
Lorrie and I would love to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and may our lord bless and keep you and yours safe this coming year.
Weapons of destruction finally found
Regarding the throwing of shoes in Iraq: It took five years but George Bush finally found his weapons of mass destruction.