Monday, July 6, 2020


Moab, UT

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    Letter: Post-Memorial Day musings

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    It is essential, as an active individual, to know what course of action to pursue. Going about a plan of action of one’s design; striving to a completed success — other than the requirements of others to make you do what they want. As American individuals, we are afforded unique choices to accomplish one’s intentions.

    an image of a statue of a paper boy
    Photo courtesy of Samuel Mann/Wikimedia Commons

    The socioeconomic, political powers that manipulate the conditions and truths to make people act to their political will rather than an individual’s self-designed course of action. Our range of educated choices shapes our course of action to our will. Free thinking actions!

    My young political life and understanding began as a humble, financially challenged, Lake Michigan, cigarette smoking 11-year-old paperboy, where I read the daily paper and smoked in hiding, on the 365 days a year newspaper I delivered.

    This was what most all of us poor Catholic schoolboys did, and there were a lot of us. It helped to know what I was peddling to my 86 customers; it made for good reading, writing, spelling, current events, and constitutional history grades.

    From my 11th birthday to my 16th, I became a self-educated and knowledgeable current events news carrier; once you were 16 you had to give up your route to a younger boy, usually of your choice. Life in 1960s America was an excellent time to get self-educated and grow up; it wasn’t as complicated as it is in the first fifth of the 21st century.

    The Vietnam police action was barely a thought or news action in 1963; the following five years would change that. America became a bastion of freethinking young adult youth; rock & roll was here to stay. The American turmoil of all the ’60s was epic world history in the making, and being there as a witness was intriguing free thinking. I continue to read a daily paper, preferably print, but read selective national and world news online each day.

    Being knowledgeable of current world events, more than most, especially as a teen, made one golden amongst the older adults. Never a smartass, just smart.

    Continuing, at any age, to be a passionate reader, is a viable exercise of healthy cognition; enticing our emotions is a worthy love. Reading and learning is a lifetime journey.

    As a high school senior, taking up the political edge and peddling Students for a Democratic Society weekly, for a dime a crack was my political angst. Seven months after graduation, I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, as a poor, unemployed American patriot. I believed in my parents’, aunts’, and uncles’ America, having a profound natural self-education and acutely aware of current events. I didn’t think the Vietnam War was justified, right in the middle of the American high-heat anti-war revolution movement. Yet, I was an educated American patriot.

    I couldn’t be prouder of my four-year Vietnam War service; I wouldn’t trade my service time for the best grades for a four-year Ivy League diploma. Serving rice paddy, jungle fighting for their lives American grunt-soldiers was my honor. Not just as a highly trained and skilled air-evac medic, but as a stateside-qualified wartime military psychiatric ward technician, an LPN. I’ve walked on Vietnam soil, without ever setting foot in Vietnam. It was an integral war duty position, an education that’s made me who I am.

    Memorial Day began with a May 1865 ceremony held by former slaves to honor Union war dead. The brotherhood of the current 18.2 million living U.S. veterans know and understand the price of freedom — it is not free! America’s Memorial Day honors the war dead and the surviving veterans of this paid freedom.

    America honors all our great late fathers, uncles, of the Greatest Generation, our veteran brothers, the millions of women who have served, and all veterans who have sacrificed and served the security of our American freethinking will. It may not seem or be freethinking to some, but that’s their choice.

    Hazen is a self-described dissembler of selective historical logic and truths, a proud, 40-year resident of Grand County.

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