Susan Alexander
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Susan Alexander
  Susan’s Rant – April 2006

Long Way Home 

Walking around Times Square I see all types of men in their military uniforms and I think of my dead dad. My mother hates when I call my father ‘dead dad’ but it makes me laugh and it would have made him laugh.

Throughout my life he would sprinkle little tidbits about his Army experience.  From the early days when he was in boot camp to his Vietnam experience.  The most exciting time for him during boot camp was being a part-time pool hustler.  On weekend passes he would travel to different towns with some buddies and earn some extra cash.  

My father knew how to spread the wealth by spending some of his extra cash on hookers. 

From digging for clams in Maine, he went to the jungles of Vietnam, where it was so hot that after you took a shower you were still sweating, according to my dead dad.  He was in Vietnam as part of his military duty and was not drafted.  This meant he was part of the few men there not loaded up on pills or stoned on pot to escape the reality of war.  For my father, this was his job.

One of the interesting strategies of the Vietcong for getting rid of the US soldiers was by spreading sexual transmitted disease through the hookers.  The Army made sure that certain whore houses were military friendly and disease free. One of my father’s many duties was being part of the team that made sure all the working girls were getting their examinations and penicillin.  Seems my father could never escape hookers until he got married.

Looking back, I realized how lucky I was that my father didn’t go crazy and become the town drunk. He took care of his family.  He was always there for me when I was growing up.  My father was the coach of my T-ball team.

T-ball is a no-skill form or bastard cousin of baseball and is perfect for anyone who has use of their arms and legs.  The ball is on a stand, you hit it and run.  T-Ball would make a great drinking game and at the same time confuse potheads.

The army allowed my father to travel the world and learn how to kill people.  Also, gave him a sense of discipline, honor and legal access to hookers.

Whenever I see a homeless guy with a sign that says they served in Vietnam, I have to give him some money even if he looks 20 years old.

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