VIETNAM ESSAY The Life of a Soldier in Vietnam (filled with a lot of info)

Essay by hostnessHigh School, 11th gradeA+, January 2004

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The true things always ambush me on the road and take me by surprise when I

am drifting down the light of placid days, careless about flanks and

rearguard actions. I was not looking for a true thing to come upon me in the

state of New Jersey. Nothing has ever happened to me in New Jersey. But came

it did, and it came to stay.

In the past four years I have been interviewing my teammates on the 1966‑67

basketball team at the Citadel for a book I'm writing. For the most part,

this has been like buying back a part of my past that I had mislaid or shut

out of my life. At first I thought I was writing about being young and

frisky and able to run up and down a court all day long, but lately I

realized I came to this book because I needed to come to grips with being

middle‑aged and having ripened into a gray‑haired man you could not trust to

handle the ball on a fast break.

When I visited my old teammate Al Kroboth's house in New Jersey, I spent the

first hours quizzing him about his memories of games and practices and the

screams of coaches that had echoed in field houses more than 30 years

before. Al had been a splendid forward‑center for the Citadel; at 6 feet 5

inches and carrying 220 pounds, he played with indefatigable energy and

enthusiasm. For most of his senior year, he led the nation in field‑goal

percentage, with UCLA center Lew Alcindor hot on his trail. Al was a battler

and a brawler and a scrapper from the day he first stepped in as a Green

Weenie as a sophomore to the day he graduated.

After we talked basketball,