For My Sacrifice, My Valor, I Get Hosed
Well, I just don't get the government and their screwups. I got a Vietnam induction notice in the mail last week. It said I had to report for my physical the next day, so I went down to the address I was supposed to go to, but it wasn't even an office anymore, it was a T.G.I. Friday's. So I took the 82 bus all the way down to the office of the Army or whatever it was and showed them the notice. They said it was just an accident, that it should have gotten to me in 1970 and the mail must have held it up and that I should ignore it. But I said Look, I didn't come all the way down here for nothing, so I'm going to Vietnam to serve my country, and that's that. So the lady behind the desk, who was pretty nice, said Okay, and that I should take the induction notice down the hall to Sergeant Franks. He looked it over and said if I really wanted, I could get on a C-55 transport jet to Hanoi because one was going there to take some slightly damaged Edie Brickell CDs over to give to some orphanage or something. So I got on the jet with everybody looking at me real funny and seventeen hours later we were in Vietnam, and I got off and took my notice down the road from the airfield to the military affairs attache. He said I should really just forget about the whole thing, it was an honest paperwork mistake blah blah blah, and he said as long as I was here I should enjoy the local culture and the booming economy and so forth, but I told him I hadn't spent seventeen hours on a transport jet to go to some museums and buy stuff, and that I was as qualified as anybody to fight, so I was going to fight. He gave in and said that if I gave him a half hour to make some calls, he would find something for me to do, and he sent me across the street to a Starbucks to wait for him to come over and give me the lowdown on my deployment. Well, guess what. Three hours went by and the guy never showed up. So I got in a cab and I asked the driver if he knew of anywhere I could go where the grunts were really getting into it with Charlie, but he didn't seem to know what I was talking about, because he just took me downtown and dropped me off in front of a theater where Hairspray was being performed by some road company. I guess he thought I was just another tourist. How insulting. I just gave up and came home. There's bureaucracy for you. It's a wonder we handled the occupation in Iraq so easily when you consider the people running the show.