Paul Barada's column titled, "The Vietnam War and the liberal media" brought back many personal memories.
My brother, Bill Oster, joined the U.S. Marines after we graduated from RCHS in 1967. While some were doing whatever it took to avoid the draft and military service (liberal media?), Bill enlisted before high school graduation. There was no doubt where he was going after boot camp, and he looked forward to the challenge.
When he came home on leave before shipping out, Bill put on his dress blues to show us how magnificent he looked. In fact, he probably made sure most of the population of Rushville saw him, too!
Our town was something of a warm, fuzzy cocoon during the Vietnam War.
Citizens were proud of the boys serving in the military, and there were articles almost daily in the local paper with information about who was where with what branch of the military and for how long. There was no protesting. Families supported each other and kept spirits high.
Bill was a prolific letter writer to many back home; my folks got a letter nearly every week during his two tours in Vietnam. Care packages went out to him regularly as well, and not just from our house. People called my folks to see how Bill was doing. They cared.
While Bill was literally fighting for his life in Operation Allen Brook with the 3/27, I was a student at Purdue. It was here that I came face-to-face with the way much of the outside world viewed the war. I was conditioned not to watch the evening news because of the graphic footage from Vietnam; Mom and Dad always turned it off. We knew that Bill was usually in the worst of the fighting, and we couldn't bear a chance sighting of him hurt, captured, or dead. So, I was somewhat buffered from the sights and sounds of the war, yet I still had the gnawing ache of worry one has when a loved one is in harm's way. But, I believed my job right then was to be a productive student. Some didn't feel that way at all. To them, college was an excuse to avoid the draft for as long as possible and to keep things stirred up for everyone else.
The protesters I was exposed to were not loud and violent like the ones who received lots of air time on the major networks; they would sit in circles on grassy areas of campus under the influence of whatever. Their form of protest was to cut class, and their favorite diversion was to call out to students on their way to class begging them to join their happy band to protest the war.
I was absolutely enraged the first time this happened to me, and the protesters knew exactly how I felt when I stomped away! Not only was my older brother away fighting, but my parents were making financial sacrifices for me to be in school.
After two tours of duty, Bill returned home in the spring of 1970. There was no parade, no big party. I think our biggest celebration was that he came back alive. Bill went about the business of living a normal life againÉhe traveled in his new car all over the place, got a job, found his dream girl, and even went to college for a while. He was saving to buy some land to farm. Bill never talked about his experiences in Vietnam except with a small group of friends who were also Vietnam vets. I had hoped that he would eventually talk to us about what happened over there.
We never had that opportunity. After Bill was diagnosed with cancer (probably as a result of Agent Orange), he died on Good Friday in 1973.
And, he undoubtedly lived more in his short years than most of us do in a
long life time.
Always be proud of our military men and women. Honor them and keep their
memory alive when they are gone. One way you can do this is to VOTE.
Vote your conscience and not what the media feeds you!
Marty Oster Connerly
Mauzy: Seniors perform final tasks at RCHS
As the parent of a 2013 high school graduate, I approach the ending of the school year in a joyous yet melancholy kind of way. Every milestone my son hit this year has come with elation attached to subdued realizations. Years of watching him burn the midnight oil while working on homework assignments and then witnessing the dedication to his sporting events will soon end. To be sure, the growth of a child is a wonderful event.
Library should be county-wide
I read with interest Paul Barada’s column proposing that the Rushville Library should become a county facility.
Way back in 1990, shortly after I became publisher of the Rushville Republican, I approached the director of the library, informing her that I wished to put the entire resources of the local newspaper behind a drive to convert the city library to a county library.
Our View: Seizure of AP phone records insult to independent press
Distrust of government secrecy has been elevated to an exceptional level with the disclosure the Justice Department covertly examined two months of Associated Press phone records to determine who leaked details to the AP about a foiled terrorist plot.
Barada: 50 years ago and counting
My, does time fly! On June 22 next month, the Rushville High School Class of 1963 will celebrate its 50th anniversary. To be honest, 1963 doesn’t sound all that long ago, until one considers that, when we graduated in June 1963, the Class of 1913 was celebrating its 50th anniversary! Now, 1913 seemed like a long time ago when I was just 17 years old. The year 1913 was four years before the United States entered World War One.
Barada: Local library should be a county facility
A noble effort is underway to renovate and expand the Rushville Public Library. It will not be an easy task. What will help, in my opinion, will be finally making the public library a county library.
Ziemke: Back home again in Batesville
Following the hustle and bustle of Indianapolis, I must say that it has been nice to be home this past week. Session is an exciting process to be a part of, but for now, I am just going to enjoy the fact that I can be at my restaurant more often to talk to the folks I represent at the Statehouse.
Mauzy: Weddings paint a larger picture of life
The marriage of my oldest daughter was this past weekend. With great fortune, weather remained wonderful for the outside venue. More than a stroke of good luck concerning the weather, the calm and positive energies of everyone in attendance would have overcome any adversity.
Messer: Have we learned the lessons of 9/11?
September 11 was a devastating wake up call for every American. The events of that terrible day taught us that we are at war with violent Islamist extremists. If we let them, these jihadists are committed to exploiting our generosity and legal protections to further their murderous mania. The 9/11 Commission which investigated that tragedy concluded warning signs were everywhere, noting that “the system was blinking red.”
Barada: 150th anniversary of the American Civil War beckons travellers this summer
Since we’re in the middle of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War; and based on the presumption that you’re interested in it at all, it’s just about time to start planning a trip to one of the two sites that marked the turning point in that conflict – Gettysburg, Pa., and Vicksburg, Miss.
Zeta Tau Run for the Arts in Milroy
ZThe Zeta Taus would like to invite the community to join them in several activities in and around Milroy on Saturday, May 11. The annual Run for the Arts begins at 7:30 a.m. for runners and 8 a.m. for walkers. This event starts and ends at Milroy United Methodist Church parking lot. The cost to participate is $15 for adults and $10 for children. In
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