Nixon, Officer, Vietnam discussed on BBC Radio 4's Bookclub

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

My first son was born when I was still in university and I didn't even know at the time that this would exempt me from the war. I'd already been in officer training for four years. I assumed I was going and I would have gone in June of nineteen sixty five. But my first child was born in March of nineteen sixty five and my commanding officer said, you idiot, you're out and I hadn't read the fine print. Now sixty five war was still relatively young. You know, by nineteen sixty eight when Nixon was elected to end that war which he didn't. Of course it went on until the seventy five, but that's why he won the election by promising. He would by the time of Nixon's election in sixty. Eight. Most people were smart enough to realize that someone in my situation had been extremely lucky, but I didn't feel it at the time at the time. I wanted to go to Vietnam for the one of the worst possible reasons because I wanted to be a writer and I wanted to see it. That's what you think when you're young, I wanted to go. I was disappointed as Owen is when he's told he's not combat material. I was very disappointed, stupid, but disappointed. Interesting and honest answer that. Boy, my eldest son who is now forty four with two sons of his own. We rarely have anything to argue about, but whenever we do get into an argument about something, he is quick to say to me, don't forget who kept you are Vietnam. You're listening to book club.

Coming up next