Gyroscope Review 16-4 - Page 36

SEEN THE MOVIE BY LEE CHILCOTE When I was eight or nine I asked my father if he’d killed anyone. He shook his head. “We didn’t see much action,” he said as if Vietnam were just a long walk in the jungle. I pictured men in camouflage playing poker and flipping through girlie mags, waiting for the enemy. Did you ever get shot? Dad thought a minute. “There was one time. I was pinned against a tree. There was a guy shooting at me and I couldn’t go anywhere.” My father, who had volunteered and become a platoon captain at 24, had five or six stories like that. So what happened? I asked. “He ran out of bullets.” On Saturday nights, he watched war movies on TV, the bottles from a six-pack stacking up in the sink. He dozed in the recliner, glassy-eyed and listless. We crawled over him as the credits rolled. Is that what it was like, Dad? “Not really,” he said. Gyroscope Review 16-4 Page 2! 6