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By Pat Lisi

Southern Utah Vets Aid, St. George Utah

One evening in 1972 me and my military friends were sitting around my kitchen table enjoying some fairly decent ‘pot’ and a few beers.   “Red” was there, a former member of the 101st Airborne Division, Viet Nam; “Chopper”, a former Marine sniper in Nam and a 3-time Purple Heart awardee; and “Beattle” Bailey who wasn’t a Nam vet but served an honorable stint in the Army in Germany during the Vietnam ‘conflict’.  I don’t remember if there was anyone else at the table with us (too much pot I guess), but we were just having a good time talking smack about the war and minding our own business.

My wife at the time, who was not known to smoke marijuana but enjoyed her own brand of cigarettes just the same, stepped over to the table we were seated at and she stuck her hand into the circle indicating she’d take a ‘hit’ off the joint that was presently being shared.  We all thought this was a pretty cool gesture and, in fact, when Chopper had taken a draw off the burning roach he handed it to my wife, Regina.

But, instead of putting it to her lips like any normal human being would have done, she took the half-smoked joint over to the kitchen sink and extinguished it, then sent it down the drain by way of the garbage disposal.  The looks on our faces were priceless to say the least, and the message was pretty clear:  This party’s over!

My buddies left abruptly which left me and the ‘old lady’ to battle it out by ourselves.  She was remarkably bullheaded, just like me, so the ensuing skirmish didn’t last that long as we arrived at impasse within minutes.  But, as I remember now it was something very short and poignant that made me quit fighting and leave the room, and that was this:

“You guys have been back from the war now for awhile, why don’t you just get over it?!”

Well, even back then a stupid statement like that was pretty crushing.  Hell, it’s 2013 now and I still have an attachment to ‘the war’.  You don’t get to “get over it.”  It will always be there.  This doesn’t mean that one has to sit around smoking dope with his buddies, but in 1972 I think we deserved a little bit of a ‘huss’, you know what I mean …cut us some slack!  At any rate Regina and I eventually divorced and it was one of the best moves of my life.



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