Author's Name: MARLENE JONES

Title: "MY DAD'S TOUGHEST WAR"

MY FATHER WAS A CAREER SOLDIER.  HE FUDGED ON HIS AGE A LITTLE IN ORDER TO JOIN THE ARMY AND GO OFF TO WWII.  LATER ON HE JOINED THE AIR FORCE AND FOUGHT IN THE KOREAN WAR.  AND FINALLY, HE WENT OFF TO THE VIETNAM WAR WHICH WAS THE HARDEST FOR HIM PARTLY BECAUSE HE WAS OLDER AND ALSO BECAUSE HE LEFT A LARGE FAMILY WITH SEVEN CHILDREN.  HIS WHOLE LIFE WAS THE MILITARY LIFE AND RAISED HIS FAMILY TO RESPECT THE FLAG AND COUNTRY ALWAYS.  BUT THE VIETNAM WAR WAS DIFFERENT.  I THINK HE FINALLY FIGURED OUT IT WAS A WRONG WAR AND THE COUNTRY AND THE MILITARY HAD BEEN SO DECEIVED BY LYNDON JOHNSON AND THE REAL MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX.  IT WAS DIFFICULT FOR HIM AT FIRST TO ACCEPT THAT HIS SECOND OLDEST DAUGHTER WAS AN ANTI-WAR ACTIVIST WHO DID PROTESTS AT SCOTT AFB NEAR BELLEVILLE, ILLINOIS.  SHE HAD IN FACT BEEN BORN AT SCOTT AFB MANY YEARS PRIOR.  AFTER HE CAME HOME FROM VIETNAM HE HAD A NUMBER OF HEALTH AILMENTS WHICH HE OFTEN IGNORED BUT SOME MENTAL ISSUES SEEMED TO CLOUD HIS THINKING IN LATER YEARS.  HE BECAME ACTIVE IN A NUMBER OF VETERANS ORGANIZATIONS.  HE ACCEPTED THAT HIS DAUGHTER, MARLENE WAS ANTI-WAR AND DISILLUSIONED WITH ALL ASPECTS OF THAT WAR HEARING OF FRIENDS GETTING KILLED OVER THERE FOR NOTHING.  HE NEVER AGGRAVATED HER ABOUT HER FEELING EITHER BECAUSE AFTER ALL HE WOULD ALWAYS SAY, "THAT IS THE AMERICAN WAY".  LATER ON MARLENE NEVER CHANGED HER VIEWS EVER ON VIETNAM BUT BECAME INVOLVED WITH A VETERANS ORGANIZATION AND FOR ALMOST 20 YEARS VOLUNTEERED AT A ST. LOUIS VA HOSPITAL AND DID IN-HOME VETERAN CARE AND HOSPICE CARE.  SHE SAYS " ALL THESE SOLDIERS ARE IMPORTANT TO ME BECAUSE THEY FOUGHT FOR THEIR COUNTRY"  AND THEY WERE TRUE PATRIOTS.  THEY ARE AMERICA'S REAL HEROES AND WILL ALWAYS HAVE A PLACE IN HER HEART.  MR. ROBERT SEAGER, HER FATHER DIED IN THE YEAR 2000.  SHE WAS SADDENED BY HIS DEATH BUT WILL ALWAYS BE PROUD OF HER FATHER.