Revenge is a Dish Best Served 43 Years Cold

8 Feb

This is Ho Chi Minh. He was the Big Cheese of North Viet Nam. Back in the 60’s this man was out to kill me.  No doubt about it.  He wasn’t after me personally.  He was out to kill any American who showed up to fight the North Vietnamese.  So, no he never said “I’m going to kill Bill Steinkellner.”  (Though, what a great story that would have been to tell the kids.  Even better than the one where Burt Reynolds threatened to punch me out.  True story.)

But if I had been walking around anywhere in Southeast Asia back then and I happened to be holding an M-16, Ho would have been murderously pissed off.  He would have happily put a  target on my back.

But no dumby I.  I thwarted his plan by staying in college to become a high school English teacher.  (Okay, in the long run that wasn’t a perfect plan.)  Somehow, my little ol’  2-S deferment (and what turned out later to be a fairly high draft number) kept me out of the gunsights of Uncle Ho and his deadly nephews.

Of course, he wasn’t the only one who wanted me dead before I was barely out of my teens.  LBJ, Robert McNamara (the Secretary of Defense –BTW wasn’t that job more honest when they called it the Secretary of War?) and various hawks and other well meaning folks in Congress were also out to get me if I got sick of higher learning and decided to drop out of school.  But I beat them all.  Feeling depressed and pointless at times I still hung in there.  I didn’t give up. The war ended with no holes in me that I wasn’t born with.

Now, the wannabe killers of Bill Steinkellner are gone.  My inadvertent plan of slow revenge paid off. Men make plans and God laughs.

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One Response to “Revenge is a Dish Best Served 43 Years Cold”

  1. Jamie February 9, 2011 at 11:17 AM #

    My dad stayed in school too.
    Of course, they tried to draft him anyway, but he was colorblind. And then the guy testing him thought he was lying, so he was officially drafted. I don’t remember what all he did to actually get out of fighting in that war, but he did something.

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