The VA

I had already signed up to go in the USAF and was in the Delayed Enlistment program for almost 11 months. If I had gone down to the MEPS station at a different time during the month I wouldn’t have had to wait as long. I tried to get out of my enlistment, but my recruiter put a note in my file saying I was nervous and to disregard. My dad was a draft dodger and I was used as his excuse for not having to serve in Vietnam.

I worked for a company that moved machinery before going active duty and one day we had a job at the VA in North Chicago, Illinois. It was like stepping into a time warp. There were patients there who had been in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and dozens of incursions in between. The patients were fairly easy to tell apart due to the age gaps of their service. Fierce Eyes and lonely vigils were kept for family members that seemed to never come. We did our job and I spent as much time as I could with these Vets. I think these Vets impacted me for the rest of my life.

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