The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #95050   Message #1845379
Posted By: GUEST,Coyote Breath
28-Sep-06 - 05:13 PM
Thread Name: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
Sounds like Ewan MacColl had both the honor and integrity to live his life without compromise. Good for him!

In January of 1959, while stationed in France with the USAF, I walked into the orderly room and told the first sargeant that I quit. I told him I would ONLY follow direct orders from that point on and would do NOTHING to contribute to our NATO "mission".

I was kept in that orderly room and away from the microwave communication equipment I had been responsible for until I was finally give a "General Discharge, Under Honorable Conditions" in May of that year. Basically, I went "on strike".

In the course of the USAF trying to figure out just what I was up to I was asked if I was a Communist. I said, "Not yet"!

I got the discharge I received because I hadn't done anything to warrant any other type of discharge. No laws broken, no bad deeds done. I was still able to enjoy all my veteran's benefits (including the GI Bill funds to attend college).

I wasn't allowed to keep my uniforms (oooh!)

I don't know what sort of reaction I would have gotten had I been in during Vietnam or what would happen if I were a soldier in combat (as in Iraq or Afganistan) Maybe I would have been court martialed. The investigators just couldn't understand why I "quit" and I wasn't saying anything to help them. I quit because what I was doing was wrong. I decided that my being in the military, no matter how much removed from any sort of combat, was wrong.

I took a chance when I quit. I really had no idea how they would react but I figured that if I just "quit", not presenting any threat of any kind they would just let me go, to avoid any "problems".

While what I did might seem like a blow against the system, I looked at it as a challenge, a contest of wits and I thoroughly enjoyed myself!