The Natural Guard


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The late 60s and early 70s were trying chaotic times. The war in Viet Nam was raging, and those who would end it (the Kennedy brothers) had both been assassinated. Both assassinations are the subject of many books. Suffice it here to say that Lee Harvey Oswald and Sirhan Sirhan were both indeed patsies. The military-industrial complex (which President Eisenhower had warned of) was dictating policy, making money hand over fist, and causing the slaughter of our best and our most patriotic. College students (myself included) were all trying to obtain and keep our 2S (student) draft status, while others were either heading for Canada or protesting in the streets.

When graduation day finally came, the student deferment went away, and the choice had to be made. Wait to be drafted or go to Canada. Neither of these was ultimately appealing. The National Guard was the only option that worked if you were ready to defend your own homeland but not ready to throw yourself into the middle of a foreign country and a foreign war.

The new National Guard consisted of the old school lifers mixed with recent college graduates, which sometimes resembled mixing oil and water. Sometimes, however, this union went surprisingly well.

This book is an indictment of nobody. Everyone who faced the dilemma of making a choice had their own personal reasons for doing what they did. This book is dedicated to those more than 58,000 who made the ultimate sacrifice and to those countless thousands more who came home changed for life, either physically or mentally, or both.

The book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, is coincidental.


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