Vietnam, the 60’s and My Response

Something happened on my way to real life as a college student, that, I hadn’t bargained for. There had been few wars in my lifetime. There was the tailing off of WWII when I was an infant. The Korean War occurred in my first few years of elementary school. There were no thoughts of the draft for that fat, little guy in the 50’s. However, a war was heating up in Vietnam as the 60’s wore on.

Wikipedia addresses the escalation. It describes the following:

In 1965, the United States rapidly increased its military forces in South Vietnam, prompted by the realization that the South Vietnamese government was losing the VietnamWar as the communist-dominated Viet Cong gained influence over much of the population in rural areas of the country.

The article goes on later to say:

In the United States, a majority of Congress and the people supported U.S. participation in the war, although protests against the war became larger and more frequent, especially among college students.

The U.S. began bombing North Vietnam in March, in Operation Rolling Thunder. The U.S. Army and Marines began ground operations to ferret out and defeat the communist forces.


In the current pandemic one thing at issue has been how far the government could go in controlling your life. The fact is in war the government through the draft can put you in a position to be tortured, maimed or killed. In fact the most dangerous civil rioting in American history was over the draft in New York City, during the Civil War.

In the in the midst of that war in Nam, I was one of the non-protesting college students. However, the war and what it might mean for my own life became a reality. My thinking, stick with the medical school plans in order to avoid the front lines, if drafted.

Thank God, the plan ultimately left me un-drafted such that I am alive and well to tell my tale. Some of my high school and college classmates were not as lucky.

H. Robert Rubin, best-selling Amazon memoirist and author of Look Backward Angel and How Did I Get Through This? available on Amazon. Please Save the Third Dance for Me will be published on June 15, again, available on Amazon. It is available for pre-order now.