By Richard B. Schwartz
Accidental Soldier depicts Richard B. Schwartz's army stories, first as an ROTC cadet on the collage of Notre Dame and eventually as a military veteran instructing in Madison, Wisconsin. In 1959, Vietnam was once little greater than a notice on a map; inside of ten years, americans observed the Tet Offensive and their campuses in flames. Schwartz used to be on the flooring zeroes of that point, educating on the usa army Academy from 1967-69 after which going to the college of Wisconsin, Madison, simply after the Dow riots and earlier than the bombing of Sterling corridor. The critical component of the ebook focuses upon Schwartz's adventure at West element, its cadets, officer corps and process of schooling. A sequel to his award-winning memoir, the most important urban in America,Accidental Soldier displays upon his army and educational event in the course of the viewpoint of an over forty-year instructing profession, twenty-nine of that have been spent as a dean at Wisconsin, Georgetown and the college of Missouri, Columbia.
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Additional resources for Accidental Soldier. A Reserve Officer at West Point in the Vietnam Era
First, there was still a draft, and every likelihood that I might actually be called upon to serve. It would be better, I reasoned, to serve as an officer, with an officer’s pay, particularly if I was married and had a family to help support. There was as yet no large troop commitment to Vietnam, only a few advisers, and there was no talk of large scale student deferments or exceptions for married men with children. (Several years later it was mentioned that one of our ROTC cadre officers, an Infantry Captain, had been sent to Vietnam as an adviser.
The ethos was ultimately, of course, monastic, though there were Dickensian touches of Gradgrindism and the occasional tyranny of the petty martinet. C. fathers always seemed to be fearing the release of some terrible, dangerous-when-unbridled human impulse (I think of some force like that of the id-monster from the film Forbidden Planet) and were at pains to contain and repress it at every opportunity. Since these impulses were fundamentally human and, ultimately, irrepressible, campus life was frequently comparable to an unending game of Whack-a-Mole, with priests attempting to smite the offenders whenever they appeared.
The job that appears to be an endless holiday (my high school classmates considered the position of a taster at the nearby National Distillers plant to be such a position) is quite routine for the person doing it, for holidays are defined in part by their rarity. I once found myself in a hotel/spa steam room in the Sonoma Valley with a person whose job it was to pour free wine for the visitors to her establishment. She worked at one of the top wineries—St. Francis—so that the likelihood of people being disappointed with the product or personally combative with her was relatively remote.