My name is Michael Marks and I was an E5 in the Army from 1969-1971. Prior to being drafted, I worked in a laboratory and produced vinyl coverings as well as movie screens.
Military life for me was a big change, and certainly not a nice one. The best way to put it is that I felt like a slave. I served in Fishhook at the Cambodian Border. We invaded Cambodia, but Nixon did not inform the nation about it. I was a radio operator; my job was to relay information to others and call artillery strikes.
The first time I was fired upon, I was confused. My emotions swirled around me and I was almost at a loss for what to do. I still remember being unable to see any open sky because the traces covered every inch of the black-blue, night sky. Later on, in my military career, I became a hardened man. I lost my emotions and began to suffer from fear less. While this is advantageous in the field, it most certainly was not when I returned home. I struggled to crack and laugh at the same jokes that I loved so much before I went into service. On top of this, the PTSD from being involved in the non-stop attacks made it grueling. It was simply unbearable.
To me, war is not necessary. I hate the government and the military for making me do what I wasn't meant to do. They took away everything precious to me.
We were on the wrong side. South Vietnam was the corrupt side of the war; North Vietnam simply wanted their country back to the way it used to be. I am proud to have served but I still harbor animosity towards the government