Today I sat and listened to a fine actor bring even more life to the words of Tim O’Brien. I wondered how it would go since in The Things They Carried, O’Brien paints incredible pictures without benefit of any actors.
I knew people just like the people we heard about today. I knew young men who moved to Canada, young men who tried getting classified as a conscientious objector and lost, young men who pounded their elbow against a wall for days on end to create an injury that would ensure flunking a physical and I knew young men who enlisted without hesitation.
Do you see the similarity here? All of the people whose lives were in limbo were young men. How unfair is that? As a young woman, I could plan my life but not so for my male friends. The anxiety driven waiting to see what your number would be. The struggle with gigantic life-changing decisions…and all I could do was sit back and watch and be the best friend I could be.
The lottery-based draft made me a feminist. We all should have had that list of burdens to carry.