Skipping ahead a bit, today’s excerpt is from the third of five connected stories, each about a different generation of guys in a military family. Today’s is about Artie, Joop from last week’s grandson, who is less than thrilled to be drafted and headed to Vietnam. It’s especially hard for him because his grandfather was in WWI, his father was in WWII, and his older brother John is about to head off on his second voluntary tour of Vietnam.
In this scene, John has called Artie a coward for not wanting to be a soldier.
“I don’t want to die for something I don’t agree with, John. I wanna stay here, with Gina. I wanna be alive for my kids, to be able to fight for them. If that makes me a coward, then yeah, I guess I’m a coward. I’m proud to be a coward.” Artie stared his brother straight in the eyes. “There ain’t nothing brave about being all tough on the outside if there’s nothing tough on the inside.”
Quicker than Artie could react, John punched him square in the jaw.
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