December 31, 2020
Warriors have always been needed to defend against those who want to take away our freedoms. Those who volunteer are to receive our deepest blessings and support. From my formative years, I have always been an advocate for free expression and speech, but that which is mindful of individual ‘ego’s’, although being increasingly provocative to the collective receiver with one of the intents being to encourage all to not be imprisoned in the mind by negative interpretation of words. Having been for years doing free speech displays, I’ve noticed that even with 3 words or less, most are hypnotized into a negative reactionary state.
During the Vietnam war years when I was in college, I clearly did not take lightly to being forced to kill people, especially when I did not understand why. Today, and for many years, I’ve found it difficult to understand why people have chosen the decision to be part of harming or killing thousands of lives. As perpetrators in Vietnam and losing 50,000 plus of our own, not to mention ‘theirs’, plus years of lingering trauma to others, be they relatives, friends or strangers, countless have been saddled with grief and helplessness.
At 18, I made the decision that I wanted no part of violence if it could be avoided, especially that which I was ordered to do. For 4 years I attempted to let my feelings be known to the government. I was told, the possibilities were not good, and many thousands had wanted to pursue that but were discouraged. Finally, I got a hearing in a private room with military men of four armed services. My wonderful dad, who was a WW 11 veteran of the Navy, came to sit out in the lobby while not being too sure of why I wanted the recognition. Shortly thereafter, against a lot of odds, I received the status of Conscientious Objector to not bear arms.
After 4 years, and legal counseling at the University of Oregon as well as a medical clearance, I was called for induction in Portland, Or. That night I went home to Eugene free to be me. All legal. If at all possible, each of us has choices. I followed a more loving and open path that was a lot about freedom of choice. In spite of not choosing military service, I do, greatly appreciate those who have defended our country so that we have freedom of speech and expression. In a sense, I regard the continuing 27 years of public free speech displays as being a ‘warrior for free speech’.