Call of Duty

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I Don't Get It

Jayhawker43-Commencement001

In 1943, the USA was smack dab in the middle of WWII, and graduating college students were faced with the inevitable: enlistment. A cartoon in the Jayhawker magazine shows the four steps awaiting them: graduation and swearing in…

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…securing fatigues and heading into combat.

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How frustrating it must have been to finally achieve graduation, to fill your head with knowledge, only to head into a war where it may be blown off.

One departing student shared these words:

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3 thoughts on “Call of Duty

  1. Wow.

    I’m in tune with everything in this post.

    For starters, I love history. Especially military history. What’s interesting to me, particularly at my age, is that I’d likely be in fatigues in no time. Not because of a want or a “need” necessarily, but for so many other factors. Could I endure the looks from my neighbours if I were to try and opt out? Especially when their sons–my friends—didn’t return? What would be my excuse?

    My grandfather was RCAF, and for god knows what reason, he volunteered to be a ball turret gunner. Air Force casualty statistics were among the worst (on average) in WWII, but those guys? In the belly up the plane, their knees up to their cheekbones? Deaf in minutes…a red smear moments after. There are horror stories of the landing gear on those flying fortresses malfunctioning all the time, and the pilots having to skid the planes along the runway, knowing full well that the gunner would be a smear along the tarmac. But, such are the hard decisions that have to be made in war – the deaths of the few pale in comparison to the survival of the many.

    Anyway…fortunately the war ended before he was training, and he became a career flight engineer. If he had shipped off, I probably wouldn’t be here. Apparently he always wanted to fly, ever since he was just a kid in the 1920’s and he saw a bi-plane for the first time and begged his parents to set aside a few bucks so he could take a ride up in the air. Must’ve been like going to space in those days.

    The reason there are so many war movies is because what those men (those KIDS!) did was too incredible to make up.

    Liked by 1 person

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