Monday, July 19, 2010

A Short Story About Chance, Luck And Kharma-Part 5

After returning to the real world Roger, Woodrow, Butch and I all sort of scattered to the wind. Roger was in St. Louis working for the phone company. Woodrow ended up in Wisconsin with the local fire department. Butch and Janie moved to Grand Junction Colorado where he worked highway construction. And I married and moved to Enid Oklahoma where I sold veterinarian supplies in that part of the state.

Butch and I saw each other about once a year. We would go on fishing trips to Ontario or Manitoba Canada. Butch and Janie had twin boys and one girl. And seemed happy until the last time we went on our annual fishing trip. After picking up Butch and heading out of town, Butch asked me to pull off the road for a minute. He said, " instead of going fishing this year, why don't we go to Vegas". So off we went. I'm not sure why I went along with his idea, but next thing i know we're in Vegas. In those days Butch was a heavy drinker and so was I. Somewhere between the casino running and the women chasing we got seperated. And Butch ended up in jail and had to call Janie to wire money so he could get bailed out. I would have given anything to seen Janie's face when he called her.

It wasn't to long after that when Janie packed up the kids and moved back to Kansas. Butch married an hispanic lady about a year later. I didn't hear from him to much after that.

The last time I talked to Butch was in 1991. He called me and was well into his cuffs and was slurring every word. Said he had been diagnosed with colon cancer and needed me to tell him my military service number. His number was one digit behind mine and that's all he could remember. He couldn't remember his number. He told me he was living in Topeka Kansas. I told him to keep me posted. That was the last time I talked to him.

That evil I spoke of earlier, which followed us home had claimed it's first victim from Hanover. Butch died about 2 months after I talked to him on the phone.It wasn't long before Roger got prostate cancer. Woodrow got colon cancer. I got diabetes and cancer. The evil culprit was Agent Orange a powerful herbicide used to defoliate the jungles of Vietnam. It makes me angry every time I think about it. Our own government had used biological warfare on it's own troops. And then in recent years they have the nerve to criticize Sadam Husein for using biologic agents. Don't get me wrong, I love my country, I just don't have any good feelings about the ones who have been running it.

I would venture to say that more Vietnam vets have died from Agent Orange than died on the battle fields. Every time I pick up a newspaper I see where another vet has died as a result of his exposure to that terrible herbicide.

So, what does all this have to do with chance and luck and kharma? You'll have to wait for the final part.

Fiction ? By X.


  1. Oh gosh, Agent Orange. How long they tried to deny it! And what's the new one? Gulf War Syndrome? It really makes you wonder.

  2. Just catching up on your story here. My grandfather was in WWII but he was a helicopter mechanic. There are no stories about war in my family (just cop stories - two uncles and a cousin are RCMP.) I have little understanding of what soldiers were exposed to. Thank you for sharing this.