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Joined: 12 Apr 2010
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Politics  Reply with quote  

When Jonathan Jacob Johansson was born on September 24th, 1945 his parents could not have been happier. The largest war ever to be fought was over. Their child would forever be safe from the ‘Evil Japanese’ and ‘Insane Germans’. He would live unblemished by hardship in the new America, a place that was simply invulnerable. Everyone would know that if America became involved surrender was your only option for survival. Hell, America has the atom bomb. Sarah and Matthew Johansson’s child would know no war.

Jonathan’s school days went by swiftly, and with nothing but positives: Many friends, high test scores, and a football scholarship to the college of his choice. Dubbed ‘Triple J’ or ‘Tripp’ by the local media, he accepted a lucrative scholarship to the University of Southern California so that he might actually gain an education during his time at USC. Tripp was destined to become a politician like his father; so his selected major was obvious, Political Science. Politics were something that Tripp would never be able to distance himself from. His father had been a local councilman, Mayor, and eventually earned as the voice of his county in Texas’ House of Representatives. During the Korean War, Tripp had often visited his father in what he had christened the ‘Brown house’. This was only partly due to the remarkable resemblance to the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. It was also because this was where Tripp learned politics were never clean. There was always underhandedness. It seemed to seep from the pores of the building, and this was just a state legislature. Tripp seemed to always walk away from the visits disgusted and vowed to change the way things were done.

With his chosen major of political science he would begin changing the world. He would finish college and begin to create a new, better system for the legislative branch to run. Too soon he was running for student council of his school, becoming the face of his class and his school. He fought vigorously for the rights of his fellow student, and was judged fair by all who were touched by his judiciary powers. As Vietnam heated from a slow boil to a full-fledged smelting pot, Tripp was distressed. He was a socially concerned individually, and he was distraught by the increasing American involvement in an unpopular war. He spent his evenings and usually early mornings attempting to create a solution to the growing problem across the pacific, but he was at a loss. He was infuriated that despite his ability to fight and die for his country, he was unable to vote on the impending bloodshed that he understood could not end well for America. The French had tried this before, in what was then referred to as Indochina, and despite the effective fighting done by ‘The Legion’, they could not effectively occupy a country that was so hostile to their rule. The unfolding drama weighed heavily on his mind, perhaps too heavily, as he began to lose focus on the football field. His performance began to suffer, and the USC coaches were forced to bench Tripp. With his lackluster performance on the field, the regents began to question the merits of keeping him on scholarship.

Tripp could not maintain the grades necessary to procure another scholarship, and it soon became apparent that he would have to leave college, and return home to Texas to regroup. Duffel bags in hand, Tripp walked through the front door of his parent’s home a lost man. The news that followed him like a dark cloud devastated his family. His college experience was over. . . At least it was until he could get himself back on track. He sat around the house for the next few weeks, watching the family’s new ‘Television Set’. It was during this time that he learned the war was being escalated and the hometown hero, LBJ, was calling for more troops. A draft was coming, and it was coming soon. The draft was announced on December 1st, 1964, and it caused the entire town of Buda, Texas to stand still. The entire country watched as loved ones continued to burst into tears as one more man was sent to war. Tripp let out a long sigh of relief as the 190th day was called and he was still going to be home for Christmas. 191, safe still. 194, safe, and his breathing had finally begun to return to a steady pace. He began to walk into the kitchen when he heard “195: September 24th”. Tripp suddenly found he could no longer take another step. He would swear for months that time had stopped. Not one of his sisters of either of his parents moved, or even made a sound. A very dazed Tripp Johansson stumbled out of the house, into a monsoon-like rain. It seemed the sky would do his crying for him, seeing as his body was unable to muster the feeling to do so.

Front line infantry. Great. That’s just what he wanted. His unit was the 24th infantry, and the bigwigs in Washington had decided that they would be first to combat the North Vietnamese. His title was ‘Heavy Weapons Specialist’, but all that meant was that he schlepped the ammo for the fifty-cal gunner. ‘Munitions carrier’ would have been a more accurate description. Hell, ‘American Jungle Comber’ would have been more accurate. That seemed to be all they did, was pick their way through the jungle, looking for Charlie. But they wouldn’t find Charlie, they all knew that. Charlie would find them. Tripp participated in the drudgery, thinking of home, thinking of the University of Southern California, thinking of everything but where he was. He was completely unaware of his own impending demise. By the time anyone could scream “CHARLIE!!!” blood was already pouring from the gore that had once been Jonathan Jacob Johansson.

I'm looking for critiques and comments on this new/old story i've re-written. Any thoughts are appreciated.
thanks for reading,

Post Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:52 pm   View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
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