ANTHEM, Book 3 of the Sixties Trilogy, publishes on October 1. Each of the book’s 47 chapters begins with a song from the Sixties to set the tone, mood, and scene. Every day between now and October 1, come have a listen and read a snippet from each chapter. On October 1, these posts will be archived with a link at ANTHEM’s webpage for #teachingAnthem1969
This is Chapter 41 (day 7):
Written by Joe McDonald
Performed by Country Joe and the Fish
Recorded at Vanguard Studios, New York, NY 1967
Drummer: Gary “Chicken” Hirsh
Flo repeated himself. “Our objective was to destroy the Viet Cong’s headquarters on the border of Cambodia in Vietnam. We used canopies to drop heavy equipment — jeeps, trucks, howitzers, supplies. And men. Eight hundred forty five of us flew under the silks that day, in two 26-second drop zones — that’s all the time we had.
“Let me tell you, you stand in the doorway of a C-130 aircraft 1500 feet in the air and leap into the turbulence of the propeller wash at 130 knots — your heart flies right out of your body. You have to jump out the door so you can catch it.”
The pride in Flo’s voice touched Molly in a patriotic way.
“That’s amazing,” she said. Norman agreed….
Eddie appeared with a bucket of paint. “Flo’s a hero,” he said. “Got the bronze star.”
Flo waved off Eddie’s praise. “I like the uniforms. You shoulda seen me. Sharp.”
Flo and Eddie represent pride in their military service, pride in the men they served with, and pride in the brotherhood of soldiering, a viewpoint much needed in ANTHEM, and one that was important to me to represent, on a personal level as well, since my dad was an air force pilot who flew in Vietnam (you’ll meet him as Colonel Chapman in a future chapter), and I wanted to honor his service. I wanted to honor the soldiers who served.
Chapters 40 and 41 give the reader a window into different ways of serving as well, Eddie on an aircraft carrier as a plane handler, and Flo a “Sky Soldier with the 173rd Airborne Brigade, Operation Junction City, 1967,” the only combat airborne mission of the Vietnam War.
From an ANTHEM scrapbook:
There were many ways to serve: