Archive for the ‘Military’ Tag

Fiction, Historical Fiction, Writing, Creating Characters, The Daily Post, Weekly Writing Challenge: characters

The below post is my submission for this week’s Weekly Writing Challenge in The Daily Post.  It is based on a fictional character in my Historical fiction story, entitled, WHEN DARK CLOSES IN.

Character analysis: Scott is a soldier in the Vietnam War, who was drafted into the army while a student attending a college in Seattle, Washington. He writes this letter home to his father about his experiences during the war while stationed in South Vietnam.

Scene – Scott is in Vietnam writing this letter from his base camp.

_________________________

March, 1966.

Hi dad,

I’ve been in Vietnam now for six months and now know the basics in warfare tactics, survival and aggression. My instinct is tested daily when out on patrol with my unit. Those that can’t cut it are easy prey for the VC, and the NVA. My M-16 remains the only friend I know won’t leave me. Fatigue, exhaustion is my constant companion. My eardrums roar from the sounds of planes and helicopters overhead, gun fire, shouts and screams.

Sometimes, I have to force my stomach from heaving its contents when I see the dying lay helpless in our wake. Their blood soaks the ground. Bullets or shrapnel become imbedded inside their bodies, with open, gaping wounds. Flies and vultures swarm in to lay claim to their remains. Medics cannot help them all. Only the monsoons help wash the earth of their blood. But, nothing washes away the memory. Their fading cries linger in my head. I hear them over and over again. There is no time to grieve the death of friends I’ve made. I just watch the medics wrap them up and send them home in a transport.

Reports from home tell about the apathy for the soldiers here. Does anyone there care we are dying here? The guys have become numb to feeling compassionate, or committed to the South’s cause. This has become a political war. Those in WA., DC that decide our fate should be here. We would choose theirs. And they would go home in body bags.

Whether with, or without the U.S. help, the South Vietnamese will fight on, to keep their side free from the Viet Cong. More often the south unleashes its violence on mere villagers with the intent to annihilate and wipe out evidence of V.C. presence, or compromise. Yet, there is still infiltration in the South Vietnamese Army. It is hard to distinguish between the two. At times, we don’t know who we’re fighting. We just fire. The country has gone mad and crazy with war. There was some talk in our unit of an elite group called, SWARM, Specialized Warfare Against the Revolutionaries’ Movement.

I hope you get this. I don’t know when I will have time to write as things are getting intense around Da Nang, and our unit may be heading north. My only momentary relief comes from looking at Jen’s picture, and reading her letters from home. Dad, don’t let her or mom know about this letter.

I pray I make it back home. Give mom, and my kid sister a hug.

love, Scott

___________________

Joyce E. Johnson


Happy Memorial Day to our military, troops and veterans.

I wish all the veterans, military service men and women a very happy Memorial Day. The wars have been many, the cost of lives so great it is beyond count, the battles they fought to win and keep our freedoms innumerable. One day a year seems too few, or to short to stop and pay tribute to all they have done, and are still doing, but it is with gratitude on this one day that we can express our thanks to them all. When my husband and I turned eighteen in 1965 we became engaged and he registered for the draft as it was mandatory then during the peak years of the Vietnam War. With trepidation and anxiety the year passed, both of us working, planing and saving for our wedding in 1966. We had no way of knowing if or when he would be called up. He was registered and enrolled to begin seminary (a Bible College Institute) in California in the fall of 1966. On the day he checked back with his draft board and his paperwork to enter college he learned he was cleared and exempt, and not being called up  to serve. At the time we were thankful, but hopeful that one day after graduation from seminary he instead could help those in the service by serving himself as a chaplain. He graduated but did not go on to further and advance to his masters degree in theology to serve as a chaplain and has always been one of his regrets, but entered ministry all the same. My father served as a chaplain in the Air Force unit of the Civil Air Patrol as he was a pastor also, and served many years along side the Air Force in this service. But, whether we are civilians, military, veterans from past wars, we are all so grateful to all of our troops for their time and service to our country, to us all and to our freedoms. Thank you to all our military and veterans today. Our support, thoughts and prayers are with you all. God Bless you, and yours.

Posted May 28, 2012 by Joyce in Uncategorized

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