(C) James J Alonzo(COVVHA) Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC.
My step father that raised me was a heavy handed parent back in the 1950′s & early 1960′s. In today‟s
times he would of been arrested for child abuse. He also was heavy handed with my mother but thatended when I was 16 years old. He never hit her again. However my mother loved him so in the interestof peace and harmony I did my best.1978, Some years after i had been back from Viet Nam we did try and find ways to move closer in the lasttwo years of my step-
father‟s life. He had been diagnosed with cancer, and it was Terminal. There were
few things we had in common. However, One of them was boxing. We both loved the sport, so I would
take him to the „fights‟ when he asked.
He had never served in War, as I did in Vietnam. But we never really talked about my experiences untilone day, when we were on our way to the boxing fights at the city auditorium; we stopped at a diner tohave a snack.All of a sudden the conversation became very serious, when out of the blue he said,
“You know you were wrong to go to Viet Nam!!”
“ What?“ I was shocked, “This is coming from the man that was “Joe Patriot” and used to tell me that it
n honor to serve my country?”
“You know,” He continued, “you‟re not the Jimmy I knew before. The Jimmy I knew before died in Viet Nam!”
I first ignored his hypocrisy, but I couldn„t forgive the cruelty of his statement. I told him something I had
felt for a very long time but had never said it out loud.
“Fuck you! You‟re an asshole! I can‟t believe the media likes to say you‟re from the “ greatestgeneration.”
He didn‟t say anything, just looked at me in kind of a very strange way.
” You know yours was the
last generation that grew up believing there was a man in the moon, so how
great is that?” I said in anger.