If you die or not, is a lottery. The decision is made by a supernatural force. Most people live a long life. They die because of their age. Some die because they had a terrible accident and others die because they were ill. My younger brother, Eddie, died because of childbed fever. Since then my mother was very protective over me and my two sisters.
The decision of my life was made by the american government. They sent me to Vietnam, a place without return.
It all started on December 1, 1969, when the Selective Service System conducted lotteries to determine the order of call to Military Service in the Vietnam War.
My parents, my sisters and i were watching the CBS News on our small Television. We saw how the dates were picked out of the big bowl and announced by one of the government members. At this time we did not think that my birthday would be one of the picked dates. My birthday was just one out of hundereds. The chance was really slim. However, every person is wrong at some stage in their life.
" ....March 3 - 267, March 27 -268, April 5 - 269...."
My heart stopped, when my birthday was announced. My mum cried out in pain. She knew what that meant. Not only was I drafted and had to go to Vietnam, but also this announcement was my death. Only a few soldiers were returning from Vietnam alive. Most of them were arriving in coffins. My sisters tried to clam my mother down. My dad was as shocked as all of us, but he was always the calmest. He stood up from his armchair and went out. I followed him. He leaned against the fence of our porch and looked over the fields which surround our home. I went to him and stood next to him. Together we stood in silence and enjoyed our beautiful view.
I did not know what I was waiting for until my father was starting to talk.
"Adam, I love you. I have probably told you that to less, but I am so proud of you. You did in your life everything right. You went to school, studied a lot and got yourself a scolarship for a really good college. Even though you did already so much, you always had time for us and helped us with the farm. I could not wish for a better son. Please be careful. I want you home safe. I am not able to lose another son. it would also be the end of your mother. You have to come back to us, to your family." These words were the last my father ever spoke to me. The next day I had to leave my friends, my home and my family, the place where I belong, to the unknown.
Vietnam was different from what I, a texan boy who never left his home, was used to. Being a soldier was even more difficult then getting used to the new place. I always thought soldiers would fight against soldiers. However this was completly different to all my imaginations. We were just a group of young man with no experience in fighting going through the jungle in search for enemies. I saw many soldiers dieing because of the heat, humidity, torrents of rain or dangerous animals. They died even before they got the chance to fight the enemy. The environment killed my friends. Soldiers drove the jungle crazy. It never was quite. You always heard some animal making noises.I hated this. I could not sleep in the night. I feared the animals too much. I felt them sitting in the dark watching me. They always were ready to kill me. Not only they were sitting there, but also the enemies. They were hidden in the dark and so were their attacks. They came out of nowhere. In the middle of the jungle were booby traps and dense brushes.
I just wanted to leave the moment I got there. I tried to count the days of my draft, but I was not able to distinguish between day and night. The jungle was so dark itself. Nearly no light made it through the leave roof.
With the time passing by our tacticts got harsher and our mood worse. Everyone just wanted to go back home to their families. I missed my parents, my home.
The first time my troup had to wipe out an entire village, I felt horrible. We did not want to do that. I did not want to do that. I did not want to become a person who kills children and women just because I was told to. It would hunt me for the rest of my life. In the exact moment when I wanted to run, another soldier run. He was shot by our Officer. I did not want to die, so I shot a child for the first time. It was not the only time I did this.
I killed, so I would not be killed. I survived, while they did not.
The lottery decides who lives and who dies.
And like a lottery it is uncontrolable who you are going to fall in love with.
I fell in love with the enemy. The first time I saw her was when we were stopping in a small village. We were stocking our provisions. She was sitting infront of a tiny house. While she prepared food, she was singing. She had a lovely voice. It put me in at trance. I listened to her singing each day. I watched her and she watched me. In our last night in the village we were attacked. Her singing stopped and were replaced by gun shots and cries. I only had one thing in my mind, the beautiful girl. I wanted to safe her. I wanted to kill for her. But instead I was killed by her.