November 22, 1967, was the fourth anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. For us, it was still fresh. The black and white images played over in our heads . . . Camelot had been shattered.
Interestingly on that same day the BBC (unofficially) banned the Beatles song, “I am the Walrus.” The lines “pornographic priestess” and “Let your knickers down” were too vulgar to be played on the air.
These were the times. It seemed like everyone was on edge, and something was about to happen. Of course life went on, and the government was telling us nightly about how the war was being won. The majority of the country believed it . . . so we went to war knowing we were serving for the good of the country.
5825 Marines had died in Vietnam since 1962, and 3566 in 1967 alone. I could not help thinking, “This is nuts.” I was preoccupied with surviving this assignment and had no patriotic illusions of “God and Country” but the Corps . . . ? I knew in the end I would never let my Marine brothers down. We all depended on each other for survival. My attitude hardened on this issue and I was committed to doing the best I could. Everyone was conflicted.
I recommend Googling – I am the Walrus. This nonsensical song, written by John Lennon, was a tongue in cheek effort to understand the complicated society we lived in.
Next edition: Spilled Milk