Enlisted: USAF
Signs of The Times
© 2011 by Don Poss
Webmaster, VSPA and War-Stories


Eleven days out of High School I enlisted in the Air Force.  John Kennedy was president. Khrushchev  wanted to bury us.   Dee Dee Sharp was doing  The Bird; The Chiffons sang He’s So Fine, and The Crystals whaled He’s Sure the Boy I Love.  Ozzie and Harriet slept in separate beds and Ricky Nelson was wondering Where Oh Where Can My Baby Be.

School kids played duck and cover.  B-52’s tag-teamed photo-ops with Russian-Bears, and half the world hated the other half.  Arabs hated the Jews. The Jews hated the Arabs. Soviets hated everybody, and Americans wanted everybody to like us.  The ground was still radioactive in Hiroshima. Life was great! Gas was cheap at .19 cents a gallon.. The Cuban Missile Crisis lit the fuse to end humanity on earth. I dressed like an Eskimo while freezing on Montana’s Minutemen Missile silos.  Martin Luther King was marching and regularly getting bailed out on the daily 15-minutes of black and white TV news, and  Mahalia Jackson sang goose-bump gospel songs just before the TV Test Pattern of an Indian wearing a war-bonnet signaled several hours of non-broadcast static.

Naïve Times.  Innocent  Times.  Dangerous  Times.  Vietnam loomed just over the dark horizon, like a cancer whose twisting tentacles would embrace and rip the nation a new silo.  The first lines of 77 Names destined for a distant Wall were shadows upon uncarved marble.  Things would never be the same again ….

Don Poss
Đà Nàng AB, K-9 Blackie X129, 1965-1966

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