Soldiering After the Vietnam War: Changed Soldiers in a Changed Country
The post commander walked along the line of senior NCOs who were retiring and stopped in front of each. We snapped to attention and saluted, and he returned the salute and pinned the award we’d earned on our left breast pocket. As he shook my hand, he made small talk, but I don’t recall what he said.
This ceremony reminded me of the day I’d entered the Army. I was a number going through the enlistment process, and a stranger had given me the Oath of Enlistment. Now I was a professional soldier shaking hands with a stranger, leaving after 20 years of service.
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When I Turned Nineteen Soldiering After the Vietnam War