All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


Making a Marine Cry

My father was a religiously minded young man who, after high school was preparing for a life of ministry.  As a ministry student, enrolled in college, pursuing a preaching degree, dad had no worries about getting shipped off to Viet Nam like other kids.  Except my father couldn't wrap his head around Koine Greek.  He was flunking it, and because of that, flunking out of college.

Dad went down to the Marine recruiting station and enlisted.  My father wanted to serve with other people who were serving because they wanted to, not because they were forced to.  The Marines were the only all volunteer branch at that time.  Latter on they took draftees.

That's the story of how dad joined the Marines in a nutshell.  He was allowed to request a MOS, which he did.  He put down chaplains assistant.  Request denied.  They shaved his head and sent him to the Nam. 

He served in Da Nang, guarding the air base, walking patrols, shooting and ducking, and doing whatever else the sergeant told him to do.  Dad did his duty, received his honorable discharge, married mom, reenrolled in college, and had me.  More kids came latter.  He never became a preacher.  Dad worked as a human resources manager till he retired.

Now that mom and dad are retired they are out doing retired people stuff.  They've taken a couple of cruises, and visited grandkids.  I'm sure dad's going out in public wearing white shoes, black socks and Bermuda shorts.  Dad also wears one or more articles of clothing with USMC on it.  At a minimum he will have a ball cap with something Marine related.  This is S.O.P. and uniform of the day for old farts with access to a Sgt. Grit catalog.

This month they headed off to Washington DC.  Dad went to the Vietnam War Memorial.  From what my mom says that went OK.  The National Museum of the Marine Corps is just outside of Quantico.  There was no way they were going to miss that.

Dad had one of his USMC ball caps on at the museum.  A little Hispanic girl came up to him and asked him if he was a marine.  I'm sure dad stood a little straighter when he told her yes.  She thanked him for his service.  Then she gave him a letter she had written, explaining how much she enjoyed being an American and how grateful she was for her freedom.  It was her way of saying thank you. 

The air-conditioning must be broken in the Marine Museum.  I guess its so hot in there that Dad's eyes began to sweat.  No matter, he was able to stifle himself and beat a strategic retreat without imperiling the dignity of the Corps. 


  1. Susan6:40 PM

    Never fails to amaze me how the toughest Marine can be undone by the simple kindness of a small child like that. Your dad will no doubt treasure that little girl's letter for the rest of his days. Her parents are rearing her right.

    1. My mom seemed pretty impressed with the exchange.

      When a guy came home from Viet Nam, determined what kind of reception he received. When my dad came home they had the troops change into civilian cloths before letting them off the base so people wouldn't know they were in the service.

      It was as if they should be ashamed of what they did. Now almost 50 years latter someone, who never knew anything about the war says 'thanks'. Its hard to imagine what that must feel like.

      I have an uncle who served with the Air Force in Viet Nam. His experiences were far more dramatic than my dads. He got out a couple of years latter. They took away nearly every vestige of evidence that he was even in the service before they snuck them to a bus station to send him home.

      Some of the things they took away I understand, like captured AK's and a necklace he made out of the ears of gooks he wasted. The officers wouldn't even let him off the base until someone from home sent him civvies to wear

    2. Susan9:43 AM

      I am not sure if it was wanting them to be ashamed so much as it was for their protection. After a hard slog on the battle field Res, those men did not deserve the disrespect of the filthy hippies and other activists who would have joyfully attacked them.

      So the command levels of the military came up with this bandaid to protect their guys as best they could. They might have confiscated the AK's from your uncle for other reasons too that they would not tell his family about.

      The public at large just did not realize at the time what that was doing to the morale and emotional well being of those returning soldiers.

      We certainly do now, and we counteract that with welcoming groups of family and like minded citizens who are indeed thankful they are home safely. I believe there have been enough books written and read by the public who now understand what needs to happen when those returning vets come home.

      God willing, the situation with the Vietnam vets will never happen again. The likes of traitors like John Kerry and Hanoi Jane hopefully will be stomped into the sand the next time one of their ilk pops their head up.

      I understand why Nixon didn't want to prosecute Kerry and Fonda even though he had many legal reasons he could have used to do so. The nation was sick of war, sick of seeing visions of the poor South Vietnamese who were betrayed by our own democrat congress.

      I feel deep sympathy for any president who has to walk carrying that load on his shoulders. It is a heavy and solitary burden he deals with.

      My eyes were sure opened wide to the treachery of our media and the Left after reading that book by John O' Neill about Kerry and the Swift Boat teams in Vietnam. Great thing about that book is that it was written by a DEMOCRAT lawyer, and the media could not tear it apart without further exposing their own role in the Vietnam debacle.

      I cannot recommend a reading of that book highly enough if it is still available. It totally exposes how deep the betrayal of the media goes, and even for how long it has lasted.

    3. They might have confiscated the AK's...

      I'm sure they did that because they were illegal by the time he returned in the 70's.

      For him it was the start of several slaps in the face. They took his trophies, and even his uniform. He went from having responsibilities and respect to being a shop rat. Then he started drinking.

      He drank his way thru the rest of the 70's, the 80's and then in 1998 he got sober. My aunt stayed with him through all of that but his kids majorly messed up their lives because their dad was a drunk.

      I've got cousin with a very similar story except he was able to hold it together enough to destroy a couple of marriages before he became a full blown drunk. I don't think he's even held down a job since before 1980. He's 70 now.

      I think my mom and his faith pulled my dad through. I can't imagine what it was like for him to do his best and to believe he had done something honorable, only to come back and be treated like they were.

      I guess that's why I wrote this up, one 'thank you' means a lot, when you've not had any.