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

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

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

Safety First At UPS

Written By: Gary Wonning

Before a driver is set free on his own he must first undergo five days of driver training during which time a  driver supervisor rides with him every day and instructs him in not only correct delivery procedures but safe driving and safe work habits and practices as well.

I was a young know it all rebel and I decided I didn’t really have to follow all the rules. Joe Mulford, my center manager kept insisting in the necessity to back into a delivery stop before making the delivery. It was safer because the driver would have the big picture as he came to the stop and could see everything in the surrounding area, thus making it less likely he would unintentionally back into something. Plus, it would give the customer time to come to the door as they heard us backing into the driveway, thereby saving us time.

photo of the Pilons

The Pilons, historic landmark in St. Lucia

For some reason, I decided this was a rule I didn’t need to follow and kept pulling into driveways. Finally, after maybe a half dozen of these deliveries, he suddenly yelled,”Stop, Stop, you just ran over a kid.”

He then proceeded to stand about a foot away from me and chewed my butt for about five minutes. It brought back visions of basic training at Lackland Air Force Base. I never pulled into a driveway from that day forward, I’ve  been retired for twenty years, I still don’t pull in.

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 Early Days Of UPS

photo of UPS plaque

The plaque located on the exact spot where UPS first began operations

Written By: Gary Wonning

There were benefits to working at night. Naturally, living in Indiana, one is never far from a basketball hoop. No building is ever complete without one either inside or outside the building. Conveniently, in this situation, one was inside, so the night shift, which consisted of the mechanic and myself, always included at least one game of horse or one on one. Occasionally a driver or two would stop by and we could get a real game up.

In the early days things were pretty loose, our center manager normally was nowhere to be found and we were about eighty miles from Indianapolis, so most of the time we could operate under the radar. It was a time before time clocks. If a driver was running late due to a card game or he found a coon dog for sale, he could just write in the time he was supposed to be in instead of the time he actually returned, as long as he looked good on paper, nothing was said.

photo of purification

An oil for many uses

I remember one time a driver arrived back at the center and cautiously asked if any management was around, once the porter answered there wasn’t, he proceeded to unload two calves from the back of his car. Another time a driver was seen unloading some live chickens, not to mention the time a motorcycle was spotted being off loaded. Ah, those were the days.

They ended way too soon.

capiture of a ups driver making a delivery

A UPS driver making a delivery to a beautiful blonde

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 House Burned Down

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.

Written By: Gary Wonning

I had just started school the previous fall, and I was rapidly becoming addicted to the state religion, high school basketball. Besides doing farm work, being a cowboy and playing basketball soon took up all the time a young boy could muster.

Three days after Christmas in nineteen-fifty,  our house caught on fire. The fire began in the kitchen behind the stove; we think the faulty electrical wiring was the cause of it. In those days the electrical wires were made of aluminum and copper pennies were often stuck behind the fuses to prevent them from blowing out at the most inopportune times.

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 young living oils

Improve your health through essential oils and Isagenix.

It’s Gotta Be The Shorts:Dealing With Unions

 

capiture of a ups driver making a delivery

A UPS driver making a delivery to a beautiful blonde

Written By; Gary Wonning

All UPS employees were required to join the Teamsters Union. I had never been a strong union person but it wasn’t a real big issue for me until the following year. In 1968 there was a major strike at the largest industry in Batesville Indiana.

Some issues needed to be resolved and bordered on being inhumane. The company was unbending and left with little choice, the union called a strike. It was a relatively small union and most employees didn’t belong to it.

At the time, judging by the way everything all came down, I thought the union saw this as an opportunity to make a name for themselves.

It got ugly real quick. Hench men were soon cavorting around in the late evening hours shooting at and dynamiting homes of management and others who decided to work. It was common to hear gunfire and explosions as darkness fell, and late into the night.

My dad worked at the company as an hourly employee, he honored the strike and saw a need for it, and he never crossed the picket line. After about two weeks of this nonsense, he had enough, some of his friends’ homes were getting shot at.

He was one to never back down from anyone and out of a desire to not support something he didn’t believe in, he decided to go to work and support his friends and buddies. Many of these people who were getting shot at he had known all his life and were like family to him.

A neighbor lady decided to go back to work also. Dad had a little Corvair at the time, so for whatever reason, they decided to cross the picket line in that little car. Approaching the picket line, he floored the little bug and cranked the steering wheel as hard as he could and slammed on the brakes. He slid sideways through the picket line. Obviously, the picketers weren’t too happy as they scrambled out of the way of the tiny missile.

I was not living at home anymore, but a couple of nights later, my parents’ home was hit with gunfire, some of which went through the living room picture window and became lodged in the wall. If someone had been in the room they could have been killed.

My little brother, who was fourteen at the time, went to get the mail at the end of the driveway the next day and picked up something lying by the mailbox. Not knowing what it was he brought it in the house, it was three sticks of unexploded dynamite.

My opinion of unions declined rapidly and I even considered quitting so I didn’t have to belong to an organization that tried to kill my family.

I decided to stick it out, my quitting wouldn’t solve anything and it was a good job. I didn’t belong to the same union that created the havoc; I would just handle the union issues on my own and not support them any more than I had to. I soon learned to solve my issues on my own, like my dad had taught me when I was a small whippersnapper.

I soon learned that in most cases the only people they really helped were the ones who were looking for a reason to need the union, and in many cases only protected the jobs of those who should have been fired.

The only time we ever saw a union representative was before a political election. They would drive the two hundred miles from Chicago and tell us how to vote. We would then tell them we knew how to vote and gave them directions back to Chicago.

I did make good money and enjoyed excellent benefits, but UPS paid top wages and benefits before the union became involved. They paid top dollar, even during the depression. Their belief was that they would pay good money, but they asked for a good day’s work in return. I see nothing wrong with that.

And I knew, if things ever turned ugly, the union would do the same thing that happened in Batesville in 1968.

In the end, people who work for a large corporation need some sort of representation, conflicts do come up, and for now the union seems to be the only answer, and I did benefit from having a union job.

As with everything in life, there are good points and not so good points.

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

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

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