The Vietnam Conflict

Written By: Gary Wonning

Like many my age, the Vietnam war came about during my late teenage years and I was faced with a difficult decision.

The conflict was, to say the least, controversial. I assume all wars are controversial, but this one seemed more so because many couldn’t justify a reason for going to war in a foreign distant land. Many didn’t even know where Vietnam was or had even heard of it.

The biggest case for engagement was to prevent the spread of communism. We were in the middle of the cold war and the threat of nuclear war was ever present with Russia continuously threatening our way of life and our very existence continuously.

The year before, it was discovered Russia had placed missile silos in Cuba, only ninety miles from our shores. The conflict ended one October evening after we stood up to them saying the missiles  had to be removed. many of us went to bed that evening, not sure if we would wake up in the morning.

The ultimatum had been given, the warships put in place, and we waited.

Many of us went to bed that evening, not sure if we would wake up in the morning.

Someone once told me that if we were dead and pinched oursleves we wouldn’t feel it, upon waking , I pinched myself, it hurt so I got up and went to work.

The crisis had been averted.

I was at the legal draft age and a prime target for the draft, not wanting to go to college or get married, I would soon be bound for the military.

Many questions entered my mind, did I want to serve , and if I did which branch did I want to serve in.

I didn’t really want to kill anyone, even in defence of my freedoms and my coutry.  I decided that if it came down to that , I would, but I had done that so many times in past lifetimes, I really didn’t want to do it any more. But I knew that if push came to shove and it was necessary to defend my way of life, my country and my family, there was no question I would do it.

Many went to Canada to escape the draft, that was totally out of the question and the thought only entered my mind as an after thought. There wasn’t any way that would be an option.

I finally decided that I wanted to serve my country  and the Air Froce seemed to be the best option for me.

Hence I joined the Air Force on Reserve status and began fulfilling my obligation.

As time went by, the Vietnam War heated up and it seemed more likely I  would be called to active duty.

And then it happened, in the spring of 1968, during the Tet offensive, we were called to active duty. There probably never is a good time to be called to fight in a foreign land, but I was getting married and we had bought a hosue, with only a year and a half to serve I was looking forward to getting discharged.

More contemplation, I , like most never wanted to go to war, but I decided to let it up to God, if he wanted me to serve, I would go, and began mentally preparing to serve.

I began comtemplating the reasons to defend one’s country. In the United States, we don’t fight for a King or Queen, we don’t fight to gain foreign lands for the homeland, we fight for an idea, the ideas of what America was founded on, freedom and the right of the idividual to choose the life they desire, without interference from a government.

Even if we don’t approve of our president, or what our government is doing, we fight for the sublime ideas our country was founded on.

My bags were packed and I was ready to go, when word came down three days before my departure. 

I had been deactivated, God didn’t want me to serve in that manner.

It’s best to think things  through, decide what you would do in the most extreme situation, and let God make the final decision.

The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

Christmas Shopping

Written By: Gary Wonning

In those days, living in the country as we did, there were no large department stores nearby. I don’t remember ever being in a large store until I was in my teens.

Therefore, our Christmas shopping was out of a Sears and Roebuck catalog. I couldn’t wait until the Christmas catalog arrived in mid-October and would anxiously shuffle through it to find things Santa could bring. Of course, I was always threatened, if I misbehaved, Santa would bring a lump of coal, It seemed there was always someone we knew would get lumps of coal on Christmas morning instead of presents.

Relive live life in the fifties

photo fo two people, a child and an adult looking at a sunset over the ocean

Life was a lot slower and simpler in the fifties and sixties.

The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

photo of the Pilons

The Pilons, historic landmark in St. Lucia

Peak Season Frustrations, UPS

Written By; Gary Wonning

One of my first years on the job, I arrived back at the center about five o’clock on Christmas Eve. I was looking forward to going home and enjoying the evening attending church and unwrapping gifts with my family. I hadn’t been home before dark for a couple of months.

Lying in the middle of the floor of the center were a stack of parcels about four feet tall. There had been a late feeder arrive in Indianapolis that morning and consequently the parcels had missed the morning sort. The parcels were unloaded and sent to the extended centers during the day, and were waiting for us when we returned.

We were to find anything in the stack that was on our delivery area and go back out and deliver them. Man, I would sooner get hit with a blivet stick than go back out there. My delivery area is thirty five miles south of here, and I live fifteen miles north. But I knew I couldn’t enjoy my Christmas if I knew there was a parcel for some little kid in that pile and he or she wasn’t going to be able to get it before Christmas.

Reluctantly, hoping against hope I began looking for something. Thankfully, I found nothing that was on my area. I did find a couple addressed to my home town, I picked them up, grabbed a couple of delivery sheets and headed off to Batesville in my pick-up truck, delivering them on my way home.

The forgotten gifts were all delivered that evening; some drivers didn’t get home until after nine pm.

The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

Ending My Journey In Belize

Written By: Gary Wonning

This was to be our last night in the tropical paradise called Belize, after spending two weeks studying the ancient Maya and their culture, it was time to think of returning to the good old USA. Tomorrow it would be back to Belize City, where we would board a flight for Houston and consequently our final destination, Indianapolis.

The sleeping accommodations couldn’t have been any better, the huts were modern, with screened in open air quarters and a convenient outside shower. An early morning breakfast, a short good-bye on the pier and we were on our way back to the good old USA.

It had been quite a trip.

The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

Illegal Immigration Isn’t A Victim-less Crime

Sometime ago, an illegal immigrant who had been deported eight times hit and killed a woman in Louisville Kentucky, leaving behind her son.

It so happens this woman and her son were recent immigrants from Cuba who came here legally.

How ironic, two people who immigrated to this country legally, completed all the paperwork and requirements to become a citizen were killed by someone who continuously broke the law, someone who our government continuously gave another chance by looking the other way.

Now this woman from Cuba is gone and she leaves behind a son who has no relatives in this country. What a shame.

By trying to give someone a break who didn’t deserve a break, a law abiding citizen is given a life sentence of grief they don’t deserve.

The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

Surviving The Winter Down On the Farm

Written By: Gary Wonning

To be able to go to school every day we would wait at an intersection along the highway for the school bus to arrive in the morning and dad would be there waiting for me when the bus arrived back in the evening.

It was the end of March before Santa found out where I was living. When I came home from school one evening, there in a Montgomery Ward shopping bag was my basketball lying in Grandpa’s chair waiting for me. No Christmas wrappings, I guess Santa ran out of paper.

The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

The Lost Culture Of the American Indian

Written By: Gary Wonning

The Lost Culture Of The American Indian

The American Indian, once a proud and honorable culture has succumbed to being dependent on the government for their very existence. At one time they as a whole were very independent and had a firm relationship with their Supreme Being or Their “God”.

And as such were very close and dependent on nature and the whims of the weather. They were so in tune they knew of approaching storms, hard times and stampeding buffalo. They often foretold of coming events, not only for their own personal tribes but for mankind and the earth as well.

This is not to say they were perfect, they knew little of fertilization and thus did farm out the land and when it became too depleted to raise crops, and the game had been all taken, they would move on to more fertile ground, thereby enabling the land replenish itself. They fought wars, captured slaves and committed many of the same atrocities as modern man.

The American Indian never developed any technology and thus didn’t advance their civilization one iota over ten thousand years, they were still living much the same in Columbus’s time as they were thousands of years before. This one fact eventually lead to their downfall, being big on spirituality and short on technology can only lead to disaster.

Today we have advanced to having the most technologically advanced society the modern world has ever known. We have new innovations coming at us daily, often times so rapidly it is hard to keep up. In the process, we Americans are also losing our rich culture.

Spirituality has become non-existent, many no longer practice any form of spirituality or religious belief and many times people who are so inclined are ridiculed into submission, so they remain quiet.

The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome