I studied history as an undergrad, and in my senior year I wrote a long paper on the development of the M16 assault rifle. (It was a decent work of collegiate scholarship, if I say so myself; at the time I was acquainted with a colonel who taught at West Point, and he put a copy on file in their library.)
While writing the paper I interviewed a number of Vietnam War veterans, and I still remember sitting down with those men as a callow student. How old they seemed! Of course, today I'm the same age they were then, and I have to laugh at how ignorant and naive I was at 22.
I remain grateful to those men for their indulgence of my ignorance and naivete, for their generosity and for their service, and that gratitude extends to everyone who served then and serves today. Thank you, veterans.
Photo by EverJean. Yay Flickr and Creative Commons.