Saturday, July 14, 2007
And Then There Was One...
Although I am on active duty, I attended part of the monthly drill for our weekend reservists. I learned that Master Sergeant Harvey Warshawsky was retiring and it was his last drill.
“Ski” is also a Vietnam veteran and he first went into the Army in 1966. He retired as a corrections officer from the State of New York and now he will be putting away the Army uniform as well.
He was the only other remaining “old soldier” in our unit and he had a great time reminding me that I was now the last Vietnam veteran in our battalion. The term "Last of the Mohicans” was used in reference to me and a few chuckles were shared by the youngsters in the unit.
(The above picture is me in a small Vietnamese village as a young lieutenant - trying to have my morning coffee and cocoa with an audience.)
I read an article recently that only about 5,600 soldiers over the age of 50 had served in Iraq or Afghanistan. Certainly, only a small percentage of them are Vietnam veterans. Many of these old soldiers have given their lives.
I wish I knew how many Vietnam veterans were still serving in the military. If anyone has any of these statistics, I would love to know the details. I am fairly certain none of them are on active duty (except maybe the rare general or sergeant major), but I know there are some of us hanging on in the National Guard or Reserves.
My own military service will end on February 28, 2009 when I turn 60 years old. All good things must come to an end, right? For now, I will be satisfied to be the last “Nam” guy in my unit.
And then there was one….
SFC Chuck Grist