In 1968, after having spent 13 months in heavy combat, I returned home to what I expected to be a relatively quiet life. But it turned out to be quite the opposite. For several years we have been experiencing an escalating barrage of illegal bombs and blasts, fueled by the desire for outdoing one another and creating havoc in normally quiet neighborhoods.
My tour of duty included places like Con Thien, Hue and Khe Sanh. The Fourth of July assault on the senses here in Vancouver could literally be compared to these far-off places. The smell of gunpowder, the window-rattling explosions and the debris left by these inconsiderate cretins who choose to literally burn up or blow up their weekly paycheck in order to “celebrate” our nation’s independence.
I would suggest that in order to purchase any fireworks or aerial bombs, the buyer be required to prove that he or she had been in a combat zone. Such proof could include a DD-214 showing combat duty and awards earned in combat, Silver or Bronze Star awards and any Purple Heart awards. These “requirements” would severely curtail, if not eliminate, our perennial madness on the Fourth. As any of the recipients of these awards would never want to experience these displays ever again.