"Someday this war's gonna end . . ."
“Someday this war’s gonna end . . .”Since the assassination of JFK this country has been in state of perpetual war. Covert, overt, whatever: all of them, as a matter of the US Constitution and binding international law, illegal. But laws are only meaningful to the extent they’re enforced. So it goes. This one started before they even buried what was left of Jack; LBJ and the brass hats made damn well sure of that. Murdered 2 or 3 million innocent Vietnamese (who never did anything to the United States or its vaunted Constitution - except try to emulate it, just ask Ho Chi Minh). In the process, the US committed total ecocide on Vietnam’s natural environment (e.g., “Project Agent Orange”). Of course, we lost. Not only almost 50,000 young men (some surfers) who needn’t have died (not to mention the tens if not hundreds of thousands of men whose lives and families were maimed in every possible way); but we lost. All the bombs (we dropped more bombs on Vietnam than in all of WWII), chemical warfare, Airforce, Navy, technology, everything didn’t mean shit at the end of the day against a bunch of determined peasants armed with rifles. We’re at war now again, of course. For the past 20 years, for what? Accomplished what? Why? - “You either surf or fight” Col. Kilgore declared defiantly. Chappy chose the former. Wise choice. But he was no coward, in that he didn’t run away from anything. While Gary didn’t join the Army (or get “inducted” - drafted), he went to Vietnam. On his own. In 1968. He was 20 years old and on The Grand Tour of planet Earth. At one stage, Chappy found himself in Cambodia (the Heart of Darkness itself of the Golden Triangle — cue: Dead Kennedy’s “Holiday in Cambodia”) conducting some freelance, ah, “business,” and Chappy decided to go “check out what was happening in Vietnam.” He hopped on a dirtbike, AK 47 strapped to his back, and enduroed solo from Cambodia through the wild mountains and jungle across the porous South-Western border into Vietnam — at the height of the Vietnam War. That’s a road trip. Didn’t like what he saw. Not at all. Vini, Vidi, I’m out of here! Nonetheless, the ever intrepid Chappy displayed the courage, audacity, and integrity — the probity — to bear witness to the pivotal event of his generation. How many guys did that? In memory of one guy that did . . .
Paumalu Huelo Hale 2021
To which Captain Willard reflected: “Someday this war's gonna end. That'd be just fine with the boys on the boat. They weren't looking for anything more than a way home. Trouble is, I'd been back there, and I knew that it just didn't exist anymore.”