Lou J. Klaiber

Why I Volunteered For Nam;

Having spent time training for President Kennedy's trip to Texas in Nov 1963....and then being told to STAND DOWN...(not needed in Dallas)....we were disbanded and sent to new assignments.   Mine was Det soldier status in Berlin.  No better service existed than Berlin.  OOhhhhhhh the ladies....the clubs..... the Russian dominance of the WALL presence.  They had more tanks than we had Soldiers.  
.......And me and Jewboy had leavetime..and went out of B with motorcycles bound for the Netherlands and Nord country.
     The train moved through E Germany with us and the bikes on board; bound for Helmstedt.  At a stop in Magdeberg , Russian soldiers stood 500 meters long on the platform as a show of force, and I threw a pack of Camels out the window and between the feet of a smiling tough faced soldier.  Dam if they weren't strong lookin' soldiers; those Russians.
    We rode the bikes into Belgium and Jboy wanted to find a cemetery for Allied soldiers who died in the Battle of the Bulge.  We rode by way of farmers and rural people directing us to a huge open  cemetery place ,tended by mostly older ladies and old men.  The allied dead were under white crosses and Stars of David.  The Krauts were beneath Black crosses.  J went far into the cemetery with a woman and man who showed him the grave of his Uncle, who never got to liberate the concentration camps. .....who died trying to reach them.
I stood silent and awestruck by the sheer size and silent power of the debt paid by Americans in WW2.  I felt totally in awe of what had happened when I was a child of 1 to 4 years old. stompin' on Victory cans for a war I could not comprehend.
Now I could!
J returned with broken eyes,and a hard heart for "F..n Europe".  I firmed up my Soldier.  Heard of a war in SE Asia.  Volunteered when we returned.  Became a tiny part of history............and know now that history is just a trigger pull on moments.  When we decide to go the distance of our fragile time.  When we decide to LIVE.....knowing we will surely die!..................and so..................
I volunteered!  Just a small story!
old man writing's
caliber 2001