Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Treaty vote. letter sent to Irish Examiner Tue 29 May 2012

The Treaty vote.

As I am living out of Ireland at present I
would vote a resounding "NO" if there.

To the citizens of Ireland ask yourself this:
Who wants you to vote "Yes:"The banksters
(Gangsters in suits),Bondholders to say...
the AIB (Assisting Ireland into Bankruptcy),
and any who stand to profit whilst the people
of Ireland go destitute.

Let them go. Send them abroad on a ship,
and say "Out of here, until you can pay us
back what you have robbed us of!"

Ireland has all that it need to carry on. It
is a rich country agriculturally, it has water
in abundance and shelter can be made. Those
three things are most of what is needed.

In Vietnam we pulled leeches (parasites) off
of our body. The Irish people must say "No" to
these parasites who would have us mortgage our,
and our children´s and grandchildren´s future.
It is criminal!
Paul Meuse
Address withheld

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012: a few thoughts

I never liked Memorial Day in the United States.
After I got out of the Marine Corps I went to one
Memorial Day parade and carried a flag. After that
I joined Vietnam Veterans Against the War in 1973.

Memorial Day just seemed like a day where everyone
had barbecues, and drank beer; plenty of beer. It´s
hard to reflect or remember the meaning of such a
day when you can´t wait for the parade to get over
so you can hit the beers on ice.

It´s like July 4th which was Independence Day for
mostly rich white peoples. It didn´t extend to salves,
or Native Americans. They had little to celebrate on
July 4th, and it still holds true for Native peoples
in America.

I knew of people, friends and others...veterans who
died on Memorial Day. I was a bartender and ´shut off´
three of them because they were intoxicated and they
had to drive.

They just went over to where the kegs of beer were and
had more. Two of them died within an hour when Freddy,
a grunt Marine as hard as I´ve seen them drove into an
Oak tree. The other man, in his 20s was paralyized for

I never felt that there was anything to celebrate...I
was alive, and I had the memories and still do. The first
was what I saw in Vietnam on my first day Christmas Day
1968, and I shall never forget it, or them or her: child
victims of our war.

Monday, December 20, 2010
'The Girl I Met On Christmas Day 1968-DaNang’ Revisited´
The child victims of war. It´s something that they don´t
tell you that you will see.

Another thing that they never mention in boot camp and
training is that you might have to put a knife to the
throat of a fellow Marine(s); it happened more than once
because they were in panic while we were under a sapper

Two of those men we sent back to their hole, and had to
listen to them scream as they were being knifed and then
exploded to bits. In the morning I had to wipe up their
remains. That story is in this blog:

´What War Is and Does to People:
'The Girl I met on Christmas Day’ Dan Nang 1968´
originally posted Sat. 26 Dec. 2009

For me their is nothing to celebrate on Memorial Day.
I survived; others died. Just the memories.

I remember the first dead Marine that I carried with the
help of three other Marines. Dead weight is heavy. He
wasn´t bleeding or anything noticeable. Someone in front
of him had stepped on a landmine. The corpsman explained
to me that just a tiny piece of metal-shrapnel- going
through the head, eyes, or a vital organ will do it. Dead.

On my first medevac our copter set down at a fire base
outside of the A Shau valley (the ´Valley of Death´ to
Marines) to make a pick up, or for some other reason...
and there in a mist with low grey clouds I saw body bags
of Marines stacked up three or four rows
cordwood awaiting their final journey home for burial
so that someday on another Memorial Day someone could
plant a small American flag on their grave so that they
would not be forgotten.

Their must have been over 240...and I felt dead inside
and wept.

They are never forgotten by their parents, spouses,
girlfriends, boyfriends, sons, daughters, brothers,
sisters and friends.

I remember those I knew like Hall who´s hand was ripped
open as he was trying to teach me how to safely handle
a grenade fuse and he picked up the wrong side. Hall,
Jimmy?, I´ve never forgotten that night, and all the
other times before that when you made people laugh.
That is what was really great about you...when you were
on your way over...anytime we would already be starting
to smile because you would make us. And, we´d be laughing
after you left.

I have never forgotten that night.

I don´t need speeches. I remember some of the men I saw
on the ICU ward at Chelsea Naval Hospital. I had a rehab
job to talk to those coming out of surgery. The first
Marine was a quadrapalegic...all four limbs had been taken
off. And, I could not drink enough to wipe out what I saw...
and I would have to go back and meet more the next day.

Memorial Day is a huge propaganda day for the politicians
and military. You know how it goes...we must not forget
them and honour them by continuing the present war(s).

There are over 58,195 or so names on the Vietnam Veterans
Memorial The Wall in Washington. But over 100,000 veterans
of that war have taken their own life since returning home.
The politicians won´t be mentioning things like that.

To all the politicians, military brass and those who
profit off war I have something to say to you. You
deserve to be hanging from a scaffold like the Nazis
did at Nuremburg! And, Go F*ck yourself. I hope the
day comes when Memorial Day is celebrated by the
masses of people chasing you down.

Paul Meuse

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Major General Dana Pittard: soldiers who commit suicide are not "selfish" they are traumatized.

A story has hit the media a week before Memorial Day
in the United States.

General’s Blog Post Reignites Army Suicide Debate (
short link )

Maj. Gen. Dana Pittard is the commander of Fort Bliss, TX
one of the largest Army bases. In January he was coming out
of church for a service for a soldier who committed suicide
after returning from the war zone.

The General entered these comments on his personal blog
On January 18, 2012 "I have now come to the conclusion
that suicide is an absolutely selfish act. Soldiers who
commit suicide leave their families, their buddies and
their units to literally clean up their mess. There is
nothing noble about suicide. I care about each and every
one of our Soldiers, family members and civilians at Fort
Bliss . I know there are a lot of people hurting out there,
especially with the future Army personnel cuts on the horizon.
If you are hurting mentally or emotionally, then seek and get
help; but don’t resort to taking your own life. I am
personally fed up with Soldiers who are choosing to take
their own lives so that others can clean up their mess..."

The General´s comments became public on May 23rd 2012, the
following day he retracted his comments. He did not
apologize; he just retracted what he said. This is what
he said:

Thoughts while working out in the gym

Maj. Gen. Dana J. H. Pittard,
1st AD and Fort Bliss Commanding General:

On Suicide – A Retraction

"In my commentary published January 19, 2012, I stated
suicide was a selfish act. Thanks to many of you and your
feedback, I have learned that this was a hurtful statement.
I also realize that my statement was not in line with the
Army’s guidance regarding sensitivity to suicide. With my
deepest sincerity and respect towards those whom I have
offended, I retract that statement."

First, the General noted that there are many reasons why
people commit suicide, but he did not mention why soldiers
under his command might take their own life.

The rate of military suicides began to soar in 2003 and
2004; the Iraq War and those who had been rotating back
and forth to Afghanistan on multiple tours.

How bad is it? In 2010 the Veterans Administration (VA)
stated that 6,000 veterans commit suicide each year...
well since the spike from the multiple wars. (VA Strives
to Prevent Veteran Suicides

On average 18 veterans commit suicide each day; that´s
one veteran every 80 minutes takes his own life.
1 every 80 minutes!

According to the above article "during fiscal 2009, 707
members of the general veteran population died at their
own hands, and another 10,665 made unsuccessful suicide
attempts." Of course the VA says that just "one death is
too many." That is standard speak for them.

The National Journal reported "that the Army’s suicide rate
has been" going up and up for years, "and last year a record
164 active-duty, National Guard, and Reserve soldiers took
their own lives, compared with 159 in 2010. In 2008, the
Army’s suicide rate exceeded that of the civilian world for
the first time."

General Pittard war kills people. War kills people long
after they have returned from the battlefield. But, you
see if you or the Army were to recognize this fact then
there would be only one conclusion left; Stop the Wars!!

Suicide by returning soldiers and veterans is known as
the ´invisible wound.´ (A Memorial Day thought: Maybe
Pittard really does speak for us on suicides It maybe so to the Generals,
like General Pittard and the Pentagon. But is is the
scars inside...what a soldier has experienced, seen or
done that they cannont live with, and torments their
soul that leads them to that step.

And, had they enough help before...

But, the parents know the reason. Mother´s have said
that their child died in Iraq, or that the war killed
them. They know.

In the 1930s Major General Smedley D. Butler USMC Retired
(a Two-Time Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient) said
"WAR is a racket. It always has been"
In his pamphlet ´War is a Racket´ written
after his military service he spoke of the costs of war:

"This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed
gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts
and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its
attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations
and generations.
For a great many years, as a soldier,
I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired
to civil life did I fully realize it."

And of his own military service General Butler had this to

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American
oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent
place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in.
I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics
for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is
long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking
house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the
Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In
China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room
would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that
I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could
do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated
on three continents. . . .

And during that period, I spent most of my time being a
high-class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street,
and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a
gangster for capitalism."

General Pittard, those who commit suicide from the horror
and trauma of war, and who feel they cannot live with
themselves...they are not ´selfish.´ But everyday that
you put that uniform on you are the height of selfishness
because you serve the interests of a small clique of
bankers, and those who profit from war.

In short, you are what Major General Smedley D. Butler
called himself a "high-class muscle-man for Big Business,
for Wall Street, and for the Bankers. In short, I was
a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism."

And, you put your career interests...of getting
ahead over the interests of humanity, and you wage
war on them and now Africa. Shame on you:

There are a lone line of great African and African
Americans from Nat Turner, who led a slave revolt
against the oppression African slaves lived under;

Sojourner Truth, "Ain´t I a Woman?";

Harriet Tubman, Leader of the Underground Railroad;

Frederick Douglass, Escaped slave (a Freeman) activist,
journalist, Abolitionist and Ambassador;

W.E B DuBois, Author, Intellectual, Educator fighter
against Oppression;

Marcus Garvey, Leader and Philosopher, fighter against
oppression by the white ruling class system of Apartheid
in America;

Paul Robeson, Athlete, Entertainer, Activist;

Ida B. Wells;

Fannie Lou Hamer, the ´Spirit of the Civil Rights

Rosa Parks

Martin Luther King Jr.,

Malcolm X

Muhammed Ali

What all these people had in common was that they fought
against the oppression of the system that you uphold.

Paul Meuse
veteran of the Vietnam War

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Time for Action

Some of my favourite movies were the first three Star War movies.
I felt that there was a spiritual message in them...seeing a more
highly developed society...and yet civilization was facing similar
dangers we face today. The threat of an evil force.

Reagan called the Soviet Union the ´Evil Empire.´ It was just pure
PR. By the way WTF was he and Ollie North doing giving Iran...
allegedly an enemy-stinger missiles? Oh, I forgot; it was cash for
weapons and of course the cash came from drug sales too.

But, today, surely the ´Evil Empire´ is the United States and
it operates through NATO (the North Atlantic Terrorist Organization).
The European countries are trying to grab back their colonies, and the
USA leaders...the Bank(Gang)sters who are crushing people in debt
are attempting to grab the wealth of Africa.

But, as for Star Wars it is like the USA. It (The Empire) in both cases
assert and their dominance relies totally upon their technological
superiority. And, history shows that that is temporary. But, the
´Rule of Law´ that OBOMBA talked about when he was candidate
Obama were just words.

He as all those before him except JFK (whose wealth was independent
and was killed) did the bidding of the Bankers and industrialsts who own

America is a freightening monster, and reminds me of the words of Sen.
Wayne Morse (Rep. OR) at the height of the Vietnam War...´today my
country stands before the world drunk with power.´

The ´Rule of Law´ that candidate Obama talked (bullshitted) about has been
replaced with Drone missiles. Or, as Professor Bill Quigley aptly labels them-
´unmanned drone guided missiles.´ That´s what they are, and that is the justice
that the United States is administering.

There is no criminal charge, or book of evidence, arrest, a hearing before a judge.
There is no criminal process. OBOMBA like Bush is the Decider. If he decides
that you´re a terrorist, then all of the Constitutionally guarantees to a fair trial, to
see the evidence (national security), be granted a criminal trial with the
PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE has been tossed out the window.

Just like the Empire in Star Wars the only thing needed is that you are deemed
a terrorist by people who go around the globe blowing the shit out of villages,
cities and town, killing people indiscriminately, or with chemicals Fallujah and
Gaza. There is no justice.

They are war criminals. President Obomba I have a few words for you
Go F*ck Yourself. The CIA, NSA, and especially the military chiefs of the
United States I have a few words for you Go F*ck Yourself. You are no
less than the Naxis whom you secretly ferreted out of Nazi Germany at the
end of World War II...many through the Vatican!

In such a world we have a duty, an obligation that is sacred and that is to overthrow
you and the war profiteers and banksters who profit off of the death of Afghans,
Iraqis, Pakistanis, Palestinians, Libyans, ALL Africans..ALL People everywhere.

For me that is the highest calling as a war veteran who has seen the truth of war.
To all, our leaders are no different than the Nazis who with the Gestapo administered
justice by cold-blooded murder. That´s what drones do.

And, my hope is that when the US will be on the receiving end of some...some
people will wake up. ´As Ye Sow: Ye Reap´ the prophet Jesus/Isa said. It is
a law of the universe. Our leaders are not just terrorizing people abroad, but also
at home, and driving them into poverty. They hand over billions of dollars to the
banks and in a trick of words they call that bailing out the country. F the banksters.

We have only one choice in such times and that is revolution. It is not a dirty
word it´s how nations are founded when the old order is utterly corrupt. These
ones are no better than the Nazis who hung from the scaffold at Nuremberg!!

Revolution is the only answer. Resist, Resist and Resist

Sunday, May 13, 2012

REM: "Everybody Hurts" lyrics 1992

There are some days when I feel that
my heart is very, very heavy and worse,
and I can listen this songs because
it touches the pain that is within.

It doesn´t make me feel better...
I feel wet eyes...and can cry later
when alone...something I didn´t do
until I was in Vietnam and after.

I´m divorced, and was a wonderful and
loving father. I have very little contact
with my children. My daughter hasn´t spoken
to me in over three years.

I feel like someone who has no family,
and in a way it´s true when it´s like
this. I had more of a family in Vietnam
the first time. We cared for each other...
and every loss hurt deeply...even those
we didn´t know.

And, recently, I had one all to human
experience with a wonderful woman that
had there was misunderstanding over...
another relationship where someone
won´t talk.

I can only do what someone told me to
do in Vietnam on my first operation as
I struggled up the base of a mountain,
and one of the veterans in my platoon
came over to me and said..."don´t look
up. Just keep putting one foot in front
of the other.

Sometimes that gets hard...but it´s all
I know. I know I could go through life,
and may have to, without ever seeing my
children, or having a relationship with
them because I have survived so much
already, especially in Vietnam.

It´s not their´s what bitter
women say after separation and divorce.

As for my Brasilian amiga there is a choice
between two people to talk or try to hurt
the other, and in reality each.

I wish all well.

"Everybody Hurts"

When your day is long
And the night, the night is yours alone
When you're sure you've had enough
Of this life, well hang on

Don't let yourself go
'Cause everybody cries
And everybody hurts sometimes

Sometimes everything is wrong
Now it's time to sing along
When your day is night alone (Hold on, hold on)
If you feel like letting go (Hold on)
If you think you've had too much
Of this life, well hang on

Everybody hurts
Take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts
Don't throw your hand, oh no
Don't throw your hand
If you feel like you're alone
No, no, no, you are not alone

If you're on your own in this life
The days and nights are long
When you think you've had too much of this life to hang on

Well, everybody hurts sometimes
Everybody cries
Everybody hurts sometimes
And everybody hurts sometimes

So hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on
Everybody hurts

Friday, May 11, 2012

Today, 11 May a day I remember

Today, 11 May is a day I never forget. For one,
it is my cousin Jimmy´s birthday; hello Jimmy if
you read this.

But, May 11th this year is 42 years since I was
discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps. I was 19.

I had been to Vietnam twice; not long…4-5 months.
But, I survived the terror of nightly sapper attacks on
Fire Support Base(FSB) Cunningham. I was a rifleman;
 a´grunt´ in the marines. I survived.

I was a radioman most of my first time; radiomen are a
sniper´s favourite choice of targets. I wasn´t told till I´d
carried the radio for almost a month that I was ´Okay.´
Three other marines carried my radio in the 4-5 months
before me; two dead and one wounded badly as was the
one before them and me.

I was ´walking point´ one day when ´Chief´ Paul Bowers, Sr.
stopped me for a minute, and noticed a green plastic trip wire
was mixed in with the vines and bushes that I was pushing
through. I was flat against me chest; my next step and I
would´ve been blown to bits. It was attached to two mines
on either side of me; an anti-tank mine on one side, and an
anti-personell mine on my other side. God Bless Chief!

I was blessed to see many places Japan, (especially
Yokosuka), and Mimi who worked at The Honky Tonk in
Yokosuka´s red light district. She taught me by example
that people like her were human beings with lives, hopes,
dreams. She had more humanity, compassion, caring, integrity
and taught me that though she and her friends worked in a Red
Light bar they had dignity. I also saw the awesomeness of
Mount Fuji(Fujisan); and Vietnam.

I met some wonderful people, but none like Mimi. There was
Eddie ´Frenchy´ Merlet, Hill Barnes, (even my drill instructors
DI´s Sgt. Ross, Sgt. Braswell, and Fondau) who pushed me to my
limits, and I held. Also, Jim Nance (where the F*ck are you),
Daryll Ondo, Brother´s Nix and Rielly. And, Ed Munro, Ray Mason,
Frank Montoya, and loads more at Chelsea Naval Hospital.

The whole second Plt. of ´Goofy´ Golf Co. 2cnd Battalion
Third Marines...Hall, Paul Bowers, Jackson, Bo, Ski...

The day I got out of the marines Monday, 11 May 1970 I
went to get my pay on and the clerk told me I was only
due $35. We argued about that, and two years later they
coughed up another $82.00+

The price of a bus ticket from Jacksonville, North
Carolina to Boston alone was $35. I needed bus fare
to the town, and train fare from Boston to my home
13 miles away. And, sh*t it would be nice to eat
along the way.

Friends gave me some as we did for those who
left before with insufficient funds

I faced one immediate problem that I gave considerable
thought to on my way back to Boston. The drinking age,
and how to get around that problem. It was 21, and I
wasn´t going to be deterred; I had a huge drinking
problem, and had been drinking hard for two years.

I got to Medford and decided to try and buy beer in
Martignetti´s package store; that´s what we call an
off-license in the Boston area.

I was in uniform, so I knew they might ask for an ID.
I set upon a way to bypass that sh*t. I went inside in
my marine dress, and said happily “F*ckin A. Finally!.”
They said hi. I returned it, and said I had a bit of
celebrating to do and wanted to look at the beers.

I told them I just got out of the Marine Corps. They
asked me how long I was in. That´s their ID check.
They knew I could join at 17, so if I said 2 years,
then I would be my real age 19. I said “4 long-ass
f*ckin years. I did two tours in the Nam.” They didn´t
ask another question.

They said “Welcome back.” I left with two six packs of
12 oz Budweiser cans. I walked about a mile to a place
easy to hitchhike from, and had drained 3 beers by then.

By the time I got home I was down to a six-pack…and
feeling as ever surly and belligerent as any night in
Yokosuka, Japan´s red light district. Except there
wouldn´t be any beautiful Japanese hookers running to
me and grabbing my crotch and quoting prices.

My neighbours were in for a huge feckin shock.
Paulie Meuse was…well, er, ah, hmm really f*ckin crazy
and could he drink! What happened to him??

My brother, Michael´s, (RIP) life change dramatically
as did the rest of my family, and not for the better!.
He and I had shared a bedroom before I went into the
marines, but this was different.

Michael, wherever you are I apologize…something i´m
good at. He turned 14 five weeks after I got home, but
I wasn´t a nice guy. I would come in drunk anywhere
from 2-5 am, and just like in the marine barracks
where I did crazy things…well Michael was the only
one here.

In the barracks I liked to come in and turn all the lights
on no matter what the time...2, 3, 4, or 5 am. Did that piss
off the other 79 marines. And, they got to know who it was.

In one barracks...K Co., 6th Marines in North Carolina
I came in ´piss drunk´ but had an idea for a laugh. I
turned on all the lights about 5 am, and while everyone
was yelling to ´shut the f*ckin lights out you asshole´
which only made me laugh louder (inside) in anticipation
I said:

"Listen up, the Lieutenant just told me to pass on a message
to everyone in the platoon." Some would say "Hurry the f*ck
up, just shut the f*ckin lights out!" Or, "it´s him again." And
then I said "the Lieutenant told me to tell you all it´s 05:00
(Zero Five Hundred), and you only got an hour of sleep till
reville (wake up) so get back to sleep!"

They didn´t like me after I did stuff like that, but the
next day I was just trying to think of ways to top that
one...that´s me:-

I apologize to Ed Munro for waking you up many times just
for a kick; I was drunk. I quit when I was 28. Ed, I
apologize for that time we were in a Jacksonville bar and
you heard ´Bad Moon Rising´ by Creedence Clearwater Revival
(CCR), and said how you hated that song; ya, it was me...I
put five quarters in the juke box while you were in the
bathroom and played ´Bad Moon Rising´ five more times:-

When I woke up with an awful hangover I liked to go to
friend´s bunk and do exercises in front of them...´jumping
jacks,´ and say "Come on let´s get with it." I felt awful,
but that made me feel a bit better. I was a prick.

But, when I came home that´s who my brother Michael had for
a roommate. One night, after a long day and night of drinking I
came to our bedroom, and I started to pinch his nostrils closed
shut while he was sound asleep. Soon he was gasping for air,
and would begin to awaken. I made the loudest snoring sounds
I could, and when he was back asleep…I would do it a few
more times.

Poor Michael, he studied hard, played sports and had to get
up for school by 7 am at the latest…about the time I started
to sleep.

Finally, my mother asked me not to do it. I tried to play
dumb and innocent, but dropped it, and said okay. I probably
did other things to make up for it after a while.

My dad had a problem, he was an active alcoholic, and all of
a sudden had a son who was drinking up to 2 cases of beer a
day, and it wasn´t nice for my family. I was afraid not to be
intoxicated because of what I lived with from Vietnam. No
amount of alcohol could suppress the emotions and feelings
that tormented my soul.

I felt like as the saying went of Vietnam veterans with war
trauma “an old man in a young man´s body.” I felt like a 50+
year old man, and now that i´m 61…50 may have been too young.

One day my dad felt he had to confront me and tell me what I was
doing was unacceptable. I came in the door in the afternoon for a piss
stop, and my dad was on a kitchen chair near the entrance to the sitting
room I was coming into. He stood up, and pointed a finger in my
direction, and said “Listen Mr. you can´t be coming in here like this!”

He was right, but I was full of fury biting for a fight, and before I
turned left towards the bathroom him I said “Why the F*ck not? You
been coming in here drunk ever since I´ve known you! When did the
f*ckin rules change?” My father´s finger hung in the air for a few seconds,
and he sat down. And, I went into the bathroom and left the house.

My dad came out of the house and just before I got into Tommy´s
car (we had joined the marines together) my dad came outside, and
started to say something, and I blew up in a rage and said “Listen
here c*cks*cker, you shut the f*ck up.” He was stunned.

My neighbours were in a state of shock too.

Some nights when I came up my street I saw a few, well more than
a few upstairs window curtains part, and when I saw that I would stop
and look up and say “Hi Mrs. so and so, are you just trying to see if it´s
me coming home drunk again? Or you just can´t get to sleep? I´m okay .”

When I used to come up my street some of the neighbours would get
out of the porch chairs and go inside their houses...even after I had quit

One neighbour had a big Great Dane I think, and that dog was outside
when I walked up the street; my neighbour took the dog in after he saw
me stick a pistol in the dog´s mouth.

We did crazy things once back home that weren´t crazy to us; just fun,
but crazy to everyone else. My friend Tommy Lizzotte drove, and we had
a case and three six-packs of beer on ice in a cooler in the back seat.

Once we drove up from Cross Street and over by McDonald Field; I don´t
know if that was the name then. Two Little League baseball teams were
playing a game, and I thought it would be great fun if Tommy drove across
the field from the Third base side to First base, and then round the base path.
Tommy looked at me for a few seconds,. I kept saying "come on." Finally, he
looked at me and said "What the F*ck." And, we both laughed.

As we drove across the coaches were screaming for the kids to
get off the field. We thought it was the funniest thing we´d
done in a while...and Tommy went through second base into the
outfield, and we were gone.

To show how crazy it was some nights we´d drive down South
Border road from the Winchester side into Medford with no lights
much of the way. One night we came up from the Medford side and
headed north through Winchester on Rt. 93. Tommy drove headed
towards Woburn while I tried my best to shoout out the highway lights
that were at least 20 feet high.. We didn´t make it out of Winchester.
A cop car pulled up behind us. The cop, was K; a nice fella. He came
over to the passenger side where I was. He sounded really happy to see
me and asked how I was. Then, he asked if we´d heard of any gunfire?

I said K I thought we left that behind us (Vietnam), and he
said some neighbours reported hearing shots fired. I said
Geez, we´ll be careful...and something about better to go
home. Then, K leaned down and looked in the car and said "Is
that Tommy?" And he asked how he was doing. Just then he
stuck his hand in as if to shake hands with Tommy. I leaned
back against my seat so he could do so.

And very swiftly K reached down and pulled out a pistol from
under my crotch. He shook his head. I said "K we wouldn´t hurt
anyone I was just trying to shoot out the highway lights...there´s
nothing to do here...we wouldn´t hurt anyone."

K said "You can´t do this." and I asked "Why, K we wouldn´t..."
And, I saw his eyes were moist, and He said "You can´t do this
because your not over there; you´re back here." He took the
pistol and that was that; I got off easy.

Two years later I was walking to my factory job andsaw a big
commotion outside the factory. A lot of people were standing
around. The canteen truck was there and people were drinking
coffee, eating donuts. I also saw the police car there and K
was standing outside talking to people.

Then, I noticed the A-Frame glass truck (after I got out of the
Marines my second job was with a glass company). I got a sinking
feeling in my stomach the closer I got to the factory. It´s one
of those ´Oh shit what the f*ck did I do last night.´ And, I
didn´t want to remember it...but clues were coming in.

Then K turned around and saw me. He was genuinely very happy
to see me; it must´ve been almost two years. He asked how I was
doing, and I said okay. Then I asked what was going on and K said
to me "you wouldn´t believe it; someone drove by the factory several
times last night and shot out almost every window. Whoever it was he
was a good shot."

Then, a look of horror came across his face; he turned a
bit white, or pale, and said "Oh Paulie tell me you didn´t
have anything to do with this." I said "K this is where I
work...geez I walk home from here at night...I coulda been

I didn´t feel genuine. F*ck!! How could I after he took a
pistol away from me two years before, but I tried my best.
I could tell he knew. I offered to buy him a coffee, but
he wouldn´t take anything from anyone when he was
investigating a crime.

We talked about how I was and how this or that cop I knew was
doing. K had know me like many policemen from when I worked at
Brigham´s Ice Cream shop from 14-17+ before I went into the
Marines. I was Paulie; a really nice kid who wouldn´t do
anything bad.

But, now I felt like I was suspect No. 1, and I was trying my
best to act as innocent as a baby lamb. But, I didn´t feel it,
and sh*t I had good reason not to. After K left we went into
work. My boss Kenny came over to me, and said "you didn´t have
anything to do with this did you?" Kenny was a real nice fella
in his 40s, and I tried to looked shocked; really shocked that
he would ask me that.

I said "Kenny, this is the place I work; if I find out who did
that I´ll slap the shit out of him before the cops get him. He
could shot one of us!" Kenny nodded, but he smiled at the
corners of his mouth. I pretended to not notice it. He knew.

Two hours later Kenny pulled me aside at a break. He waited till
after everone went by, and then he said "Look, management reversed
themselves, and decided to give you the $0.25 cent an hour increase."
They had turned me down the previous morning.

Kenny was watching my face, and I spontaneously said "Kenny, I
didn´t know what to do when they said no, so I came in today with
a counter proposal." He said whadda ya mean?" and, I said, ´well
they said no to $0.25 an hour so I thought maybe I should ask
for $0.12 or $0.15 cents instead, but there was so much going
on with the windows that I thought they don´t have the time for
anything else today.´

Kenny just smiled. I reassured him that when I got out of there I
would ask my friends and anyone if they saw anyone around the
building last night. He jsut about laughed, and said ´okay.´I just
didn´t ask one friend in particular, and as for slapping the shit out
of someone if I caught them...I smacked myself in the shower for
going way over the top:-

I kept thinking I´d feel a tap on the shoulder, and worried
that somehow my pistol my match the BB pellets that went
through the office windows no matter how crazy that was...
but just to be sure I dumped them in a pond. I don´t remember
which one because one of the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress
is...´short-term memory loss´ ;-

Eleven years later I would have to get rid of more. Quickly!

The police weren´t interested in finding out who did it. Well
they had a good idea. But, the company was moving out of state
in four days and the employees were out of jobs, unless they
wanted to move more than 1,500 miles south in four days without
compensation, and a cut in pay. We didn´t know that.

Somehow, I survived all the craziness; friends died from
overdoses, suicide in a number of ways. Somehow I survived,
and I wasn´t sure why.I was not the same when I came back,
but I didn´t know how to say what I felt was wrong with me.
And, the American government refused to recognize post-traumatic
stress until 1980.

But, I´m alive, and hope those I hurt will forgive me, and
bless those of you who helped along the way, and still have.

War is Criminal it strips your innocence first, and then
it´s just brutality and barbarity and a struggle to survive
each and every day.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

´Vietnam, 35 years later´ May 7, 2010

This...if the links work, if not google the title:

´Vietnam, 35 years later´

Isso ... se os links funcionam, se não o título do google:

"Vietnã, 35 anos depois"

When I first saw this my eyes filled with tears
Quando vi pela primeira vez este meus olhos se
encheram de lágrimas.

It was first photo number 5...I felt i must have
looked tougher than he did, but we were both green.

What struck me of the photo is that war strips you
of your innocence first!

Look into his eyes; he is an innocent.

5 ´A young Marine private waits on the beach during
the Marine landing, Da Nang, Vietnam, August 3, 1965.
(U.S. Marine Corps.)' #

Um jovem fuzileiro naval privado espera na praia durante
a aterrissagem Marine, Da Nang, no Vietnã, 03 de agosto
de 1965. (EUA Marine Corps.) #

But it is photo No. 20 that made tears stream down my face.
I know how he felt in a way, But what gripped me was that I
went from the boy in No 5 to the one in No. 20 in less than
two months...and I came home like the boy in no. 20. dead
inside and full of grief

During Operation "Bushmaster", a
member of Company "L", (Ranger), 75th Infantry, wearing
camouflage makeup sits alone with his thoughts while waiting
to participate in an assault mission against North Vietnamese
Army (NVA) forces in Vietnam in August of 1971.
(US Department of Defense/SP4 John L. Hennesey, 221st Sig Co) #

Thursday, May 3, 2012

´"Coffee and Chocolate are not a diet..."So said Dr. O´Connell to me in January 2011

"Coffee and Chocolate are not a diet..."
So said Dr. Derek O´Connell my GP in Cork
last January(2011). He is probably the best
doc I´ve ever had.

I said, "well it´s worked for over 40 years"
Then he reminded me it wasn´t working as I
was in his office. I was tempted to make a
wise crack that it maybe the poor quality
of chocolate that´s responsible, but I held
my tongue.

This is a true story.

Doctor O´Connell is probably the best
doc i´ve seen, and I would say the same
for his colleague Dr. Louise Nestor. But,
I seen Dr. O´Connell more. And, that January
day I´d gone in there feeling something was
very wrong with me, and was worried.

As usual I wait till the sypmtoms are
screaming out that something is wrong. I do
that with my personal health...I think it
has something to do with surviving Vietnam;
I can be a little unthinking...having survived,
so much so I don´t think or treat my body well
all the time. Other times, I get in shape, and
even then eating properly was sort of out of the

This time I said to Dr. O´Connell ´I don´t want
to say this, but I think I either got bowel
cancer or it´s my diet.´ Or like words. I had
a strange smell that was bad, very bad. I had
never had it, nor know what it was. I used
cologne to mask it till it reduced.

I didn´t have to buy cologne (well I bought
one bottle) because Debenhams situated where
Roaches Store was had loads of bottles where
you could sample. I did liberally! Finally a
clerk came over to me with what looked like
a fancy tongue depressor with white cloth or
something over it.

I´d seen them in a fancy shop, Bijenkorf in
Amsterdam. A clerk would spray some on the
stick, and the idea was you smell the stick.
That´s what the woman did that day in Debenhams.
I put it to my nose, and then said something
about not being able to smell it, so I reached
with up and took the purple ´Boss´ bottle in my
right hand, and doused my left hand 6-7 times
very, very, liberally. How liberally? My feckin
hand was soaking wet. I thanked her:-

They had seen me most days, and were determined
to put a stop to that. I must´ve gone through
one of those nice purple Hugo Boss bottles every
two weeks. Hey they were on display to sample, and
no one ever said ´Oh you can only use this much.´

Then I rubbed some on my face, coat and
pants. The clerk was a little shocked. I
learned that trick in my 30s at the
Jordan Marsh store in Boston in the 1980s.
I highly recommend that method; that way
after a few weeks you have a better idea
of which one you like best.

Dr. O´Connell leaned toward the computer,
and asked me if there´s a history of bowel
cancer in my family. I said "No." I had
done the genealogy, had birth to death
certificates, and autopsy reports in some
cases. I said no one in my family going up
or sideways that I knew of.

So, he nodded, sat back in his chair and said
"let´s talk about your diet." He asked "What do
you eat for breakfast?" What kind of a question
is that? as you´ll see.

I told him well I go to Cork Coffee Roasters,
and have a coffee, and some nice little Chocolaty
thing.´I forget the name of it now; kind of like
forgetting a woman´s name after sharing so much
pleasure over a span of time.

He asked me about it and I said that being a
baker I was pretty sure there was a probably a
good load of sugar plus the chocolate to make
it taste so sweet...almost addictive.

So he asks "well after that what do you eat
after that" I said, well I usually have two
coffees, and have another one of those. And,
if I have a third coffee...

So, Dr. O´Connell says "well what do you have
for breakfast?" And, I said that was breakfast.
He shakes his head a bit, and then asks me what
I eat later for lunch. Such rigid concepts to me;-

I said i may not eat for a while because i feel
full. "Lunch?" I was getting up late and writing
at Cork Coffee Roasters so if I got down there at
2-3 that was breakfast and lunch. That was a bit
mind boggling to eat that way.

I wrote close to 90,000 words there on my first
novel. ´The Brick Jungle´ is a story about a
housing project that I grew up in until 14.

Then he asked about what i ate for supper.
Once in a while I might eat a vegetarian bagel
at LA Bagels, or a Pizza from Ginos(?) and 2-3
more coffees at the Web Workhouse. and for a
few weeks I got into a very bad habit of a Mars
bar, Snickers and Kit Kat each night. When they
opened their cafe with a great blend of two
Brasilian coffees....candy bars were replaced,
and supper was coffee and a nice chocolate cake,
or those chocolate chip cookies.

Sometimes I got a ´chips and cheese´ to take
home, but that would be after midnight. He
shook his head back and forth.

It was about that time that Dr. O´Connell
explained to me what sugar does to the stomach
and intestines if you eat like I do. It wasn´t
nice. I wish someone told me when I was in my
20s, but I doubt I would´ve listened.

I remember drinking after I got out of the
Marine Corps with my best friend Tommy L. We
started out the day by putting a case of beer
on ice in a cooler in the back seat of his car-
a mobile bar, or pub:- I told Tommy one day
I´d read that drinking destroys billions of
brain cells.

Tommy raised his beer and said "F*ck it we got
billions anyways, and we both laughed and
drained another beer. Tommy´s dad was nicknamed

That day at Dr. O´Connell´s he told me no more
than 2 coffees a day, and sugar was out.

He asked me if I liked bananas? I said i love
them. So he said normally two are recommended,
but I´d say three are okay for you to start.

I told him I looked for them, but couldn´t find
any. He said what do you mean? they´ve got two
organic shops down the street in the English Market
they´ve got plenty of bananas.

I said "I went there but they only had those yellow
ones; they didn´t have any chocolate ones:-

And, it was just about that time that he shook
his head and said "You Don´t get bad health;
you work at it..." I had been working overtime.

And, he said Chocolate and coffee is not a diet!
I said, "well it´s worked for over 40 years" Then
he reminded me it wasn´t working as I was in his

When we were done he said to me "You know everyone
who comes in here asks how to get better, or what´s
wrong and how to get better. But, in all the years
I´ve known you (about 10 years) you´re the only one
who comes in here and gives me two alternate diagnoses
one of which to confirm." So he confirmed one; my diet.

I cleaned up my act...for awhile, but once I was past
the fear of there being something serious wrong with
me...chocolate looked good, then carrot cake (I
justified that as getting a vegetable-carrots).
But i´ve been living out of hostels, residencials,
since late Aug. 2011, and it doesn´t make for great
discipline. And I can´t cook in them.

Plus, Portugal has great coffee and desserts.

I came to Lisboa in early October 2011, and by
December 20-22cnd I had a worse problem. From
December 23rd I did 20 days without a coffee.
I had been having 6-7 cafe duplos (12-14 espresso
shots a day)...and 5-6 sweets...Bolo de Arroz,
Fatias Douradas.

There were days when I felt so ill and worried about
getting better...I had thoughts i never thought i´d
have. I was going to a good one meal
a day...and it helped healing, and there was someone
nice there who gave me dietary tips at times ;- But,
I was eating the same thing, and needed much more in
my diet anyways.

I eventually left that restaurant, and I promised
myself to eat well, but my diet got worse and worse,
and this Sunday, 30 April I felt like I was back
where I was in December 2011. I was abusing my
stomach and intestines...testing the limits, so
to speak. And, I wondered if I could have the other

I felt the same hopelessness about changing and
worried that the damage was too far gone, or if
I´d get healthy again. Then, on Wednesday 2 May,
I cut out sweets, and drank less than one meia
de leite (cafe), more importantly I bought four
organic natural yogurts and ate them.

What happens is I kick myself mentally and say
you have to change, and feeling bad about it
won´t help. That´s how I kick or push or motivate
myself to change.

Thursday I went to an organic restaurant for the
first time in years. After, I went straight to an
organic grocery and got 2 organic bananas, 2 apples
and a large jar of yogurt. I thought it was plain,
but it´s vanilla...hmm. But, it´s a start.

Today, Fri. 4 May 2012 I bought five natural-organic
yogurts(natural-orgânicos iogurtes in Portuguese).
Plus three bananas (I used to think a banana split,
was the best way to take bananas)...several
apples, and had a meal at the bio cafe.

I had read an article about Olivia Newton-John (breast
cancer survivor..Grease) in which said she "believes
that good nutrition is the key to wellbeing, and she
only eats organic.

From now on I eat lots of yogurt (i had googled the
health benefits of it...very good for the stomach and
intestines), and I´ve only had organic food for
almost three days.

Tomorrow will be two weeks on a 90% vegan diet. I
have two apples, 2-3 bananas, 4 yogurt´s (natuaral),
but they´re like a treat to me, and a meal...usually
at ´Bake the Difference´ a vegan restaurant. Even my
drinking water I get from the bio store.

It´s when I get scared that it moves me.

I also meditated in my late 30s and 40s, and will
start again. It´s as important as eating well.

I had another very bad intestinal disorder at 18
whilst in Vietnam: Amoebic dysentery, and it took
almost three full months to shake off partly because
I was a new guy in the Nam, and they weren´t about
to let me outta the bush for a month or two. But,
even when I was in a naval hospital outside of
Boston I didn´t like the stuff they gave me to
´cure it.´

The corpsman gave me a cup with what looked like a
cereal grain in it, and a separate cup of water.
He told me pour the water in and drink it right
away. I asked why right away, and he said ´because
it solidifies.´ I said okay. When he was gone I mixed
the water in it, and put it in the bottom door of my
bed table. Ten minutes later I picked it up. It felt
like a brick, and I said "F*ck that sh*t" to myself.
I had two drink it days later.

It was on my first operation, and our corpsman
(highly trained enlisted navy medical specialist
who provide emergency first aid in combat to
wounded Marines-they are the best!) warned me
about my consumption of water. I ran out, and
at some point we came to a small depressed area
where water ran into and stagnated.

There was water there, and I was thirsty. There
was also orange scum on top of the water just like
in the swamps I played in as a kid. The corpsman
warned us not to drink it until 45 minutes (I think)
after we put iron tablets into our canteen with the
water. Purification.

I nodded, but was like ´ya sure,´and as I held a helmut
full up under my face I remember thinking I´ll never do
this again...anymore than I would as a kid. And, then I
swilled it down, and put some into my canteen with iron

It wasn´t long before I had the worst stomach cramps of
my life. How bad? I was walking bent over slightly in pain.
And, I always thought that once I relieved myself that the
cramps would ease.

But, I could never tell which was worse, the cramps I had
before I had to go, or when I was going, or the ones after.
And, when you´s like you turned on the water faucet
full blast. And, ah...believe me you kinda smell:-

I remember the day three of us took a bath in the Cam Lo
river. It was finally nice to wash those wretched pants,
and shirt and hang them on the barbed wire-concertina
rolls. They were dry in no time, and after washing we
put our clothes back on and walked back over the pontoon
bridge across the Cam Lo river. I didn´t make it; I
started walking slower and slower as I knew I had to
go. Then, it came, and my nice clean pants were soiled!

A week or so before somebody had shot an RPG-(Rocket
Propelled Grenade) at me as I patrolled that pontoon
bridge on a quiet night. It was within 8- 10 feet in
front of me, and in the direction I was walking. I had
no clue as to what it was; it was bright red with a
white tail, and it was a dud. I went to the Sgt. and
described what I saw. He said someone tried to hit me
with an RPG. I asked what do I do...go back until my
shift ended and be careful. I stayed off the bridge
for most of my duty shift.

That was January 1969 when I got dysentary (and I
knew instinctivly how and where I got it). I didn´t
get rid of it for good until March 1969 when I was
in the Chelsea Naval Hospital just over the bridge
(Mystic River) from Boston. When I was in my 40s I
said dysentary was the best weight-reducing plan of
my life.

One day three of us were at FSB Charlie 3; it had been
taken apart. Two Vietnamese boys of maybe 10-12 showed
us a water hole. It was beautiful and clear (years later
I realized tons of Agent Orange were sprayed all over
there). I had dysentary, and had to go bad. I walked a
good distance away into the tall grass to do my business;
it was too far. A mistake.

I got into the grass found a spot looked around, and
when I felt it was okay I dropped my pants (jungle
utes-utility trousers) down and started to go.

Just a few seconds later I saw the sandy soil puff up
about 12-15 inches from the front of my left boot. It
meant someone put a bullet in there. My first thought
was ´Why are the F**kin with my now?´ meaning my own

The speed of light is faster than the speed of sound.
If you´ve ever seen someone set a firecracker off you
see the explosion, and then a second or so later you
hear the explosion. The same with bullets. While I
had that thought about one of my men screwing around
and taking a shot I heard the crack of a rifle. It was
to my right rear...over my right shoulder.

And, I shit.

Just then the dirt puffed up within an inch of the
toes in my left boot, and I grabbed my M-16, pulled
my pants up and held them with my left hand. My rifle
was in my right hand. I didn´t fire back. I ran fast
in a low zig zag with my rifle pointed in front ready
to fire. ´God is Good´ as the Irish say, and most
soldiers are piss poor shots despite all the training
they´ve had:-

By the way...while Dr. O´Connell was the best doc I
ever had so far, there was that guy outside of Boston.

The very first time i saw him about my seizures, and
complained that the post office had me on midnights
and it aggravated my seizures. He said "Did you ever
think of going out of work on disability?" It sounded
cuckoo to me (an alien concept)...i´d just been working
at the Boston post office, and it was the best money i
had made up to that point.

But, I did notice that every time I sat in his big
waiting room for an appointment everyone else seemed
to be wearning a neck brace or something else from a
car accident or other injury:- And, they were talking
about how they had their accidents, and what a great
doc he was, and how sympathetic he was:-. I must´ve
been the only real patient.

It´s organic and yogurt and meditation from now on.

Ps. Dr. O´Connell, about that two cups of coffee
limit per day you suggested...I saw this in yesterday´s
Irish Independent ´Drinking coffee linked to lower
deaths - research´

And it said ´Researchers found that compared with
people who did not drink coffee, men who consumed
six or more cups a day where 10pc less likely to
die during the 14 years of the study.´ Hmmm;-