I have a picture of my father, Major James Marks in front of the Schofield Barracks at Pearl Harbor, days before that fateful day of December 7th 1941 in our Dining room. My dad was also a veteran of the Korean War as well as my brother, Lieutenant James who died prematurely in a car accident. My brother Roy served in Korea and 2 terms in Vietnam. My brother Mike served in Nam and my brothers were highly honored with medals.
My brother Roy caught me wearing my brother Mike's Army Calvary Jacket when I was about 14 years of age. It was a cool thing at the time for us youngsters. I could swear to this day that I had permission from Mike. Roy was highly offended and challenged me to defend the jacket's honor. Mind you at 14 I was about 5'3" and 80 lbs but I took him up on this. I took a swing at Roy and was laid out cold. He beat the sh-- out of me for disrespect of our country. I did not have disrespect, I was just uninformed.
(Why was I so small? I was diagnosed with a rare skin cancer when I was very young that had me going to Stanford Children's Hospital and having radical treatments (Burning off and others) for years. It made for uncomfortable moments in the gym locker for years. "Ew, what the heck is that on your side!" It was a Wild Skin Cell that stopped growing finally in my mid 20's. Local guy Dr. Devine was no help!)
I finally was healthy by the time I graduated at 17 years of age and 5' 10" and 100 lbs. I was not in ARMY condition and neither of my brothers or my father even suggested I enlist. If the draft were in place I would have followed their lead and I respect their reason to not encourage me to go to Nam.
I have many friends and co-workers that are PTSD Posttraumatic stress disorder victims and I honor their duty to our country. I want them all to have all the treatments that are available and to this day feel guilty that they served this country in a manner I have not.
I am honored and humbled by their service. As I hope all other US civilians are.
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