A Writing Seed: Unwanted Memories

Sometimes I have small passages pop into my head, or as I call them writing seeds. Small thoughts that have the potential to germinate into something more. Here is one such writing seed, which might inspire you.


“Thank you for your service,” the young boy said to me as he held out his hand. I shook his hand because it was the right thing to do; because I understood what he was trying to do. He wanted to say that he appreciated the time I had spent in Vietnam in the ’50’s.

What he didn’t realise, was that I had no desire to think of those times. I thought about them enough. I certainly didn’t want to be thanked or receive commendations for the distasteful things I had to do over there. I didn’t want to be defined by them, either.

My country had called, and I had answered that call. I didn’t regret what we had to do, but I’ll never be happy about having to do it. Even if we had defeated the Viet Cong, we still wouldn’t have been victors. Not really. There are no winners in war among the soldiers who fought it. I’d lost a lot of good mates, and left some of the best parts of me on the battlefield.

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