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Marlin Jackson - United States Marine Corps

As a marine recruit, I didn’t watch T.V. or read the newspapers.  All the information I needed I got from the corps.  At seventeen-years-old, the marine corps was my mother, father and all my sisters and brothers put together.  The corps fed and clothed me, provided me with a home and brother marines I trusted.  No way could I look objectively at a geo-political situation like Vietnam.  I believed it my duty to secure the blessings of freedom for millions of South Vietnamese threatened by northern Communists.  It was a privilege to be an American fighting man in the war against global totalitarianism. 

Now, I look back and shake my head at that naïve kid.  Now, nobody could feed me that same propaganda.  Of course, now I understand a soldier needs propaganda to believe he’s doing the right thing, and his cause is just.  He needs the portrait of righteousness painted for him, and he needs to believe it.  Fortunately for governments, soldiers almost always want to believe.  They want to believe the small unit tactics they learned will keep them out of an enemy ambush.  They want to believe every time they fire their weapon, something will fall down dead.  If any part of that is false, then all the rest could be false as well, and a soldier refuses to believe that. 


1. "What the hell do you want in life?"
2. Marine propoganda
3. A surreal landing
4. Empathy for the enemy
5. Serious trouble
6. A messy situation
7. My time in Vietnam
8. Drugs and alcohol
9. Nightmares and Flashbacks
10. Beyond therapy