Re: Vietnam Photographs
Snakedriver, young guys will take more chances than older men. Like you, I was 19 when driving a boat; I turned 20 seven months into my tour.
For younger members in this group that do not remember, it was perfectly legal for folks to buy mailorder firearms.....there were no licensing requirements at all. Most boys owned firearms, and (at least in Tidewater, VA) you could walk into any 7-11 store, and buy 12 gauge shotgun shells or .22 rimfire ammo. As kids grew into teens, we'd take our rifles/shotguns to school in the trunk of our cars, so we could go straight from school to hunt.......no crazy historionics from school principles about carrying firearms to school.
I joined the Army in September 1968, and was kept too busy to hear what our politicians were doing.......enacting the Gun Control Law of 1968 (November ?). Basic at Fort Benning, GA, AIT at Fort Eustis, 30 day leave, then off to RVN.
When I returned to CONUS, one of the first things I did was to go to Bob's Gun Shop, in Norfolk, VA, to buy some ammo. There was a young Marine E-3 in his uniform in line ahead of me, that had also just returned from 'Nam.
We came close to getting the police called on us, when the guy behind the counter refused to sell us any ammo, because we were not 21 years old. The Marine went ballistic, and started yelling, while he put his hand up, "I got my blankety finger shot off in Vietnam, and you won't sell me any ammunition!?" I got the guy calmed down, and we both left, at the clerks request.
What a shock; from kids able to buy mailorder rifles, then 'Nam, then being denied just buying ammo! Things had turned upside down, in a short time.