I have had the company of my grandchildren a lot lately, and for that I’m grateful. The thirteen year old is stretching his boundaries a little much so I have his company more than usual. And I’ve said before I enjoy him, but am also surprised at how much he doesn’t know about our country. That sounds bad, doesn’t it? I mean that he reads all the time and is very knowledgeable about certain things I don’t understand such as the new math. Let’s not go there.
He was forbidden to watch anything and no computer, so brought a book, “To Kill a Mockingbird” which he’s already read at least once. The week before he was reading a book about the Vietnam war, a true story written by Tim O’Brian named “What They Carried”. I questioned him about it and we had a long discussion. I was surprised he hadn’t learned anything about it in school since he is in eighth grade. I am a big supporter of veterans’ issues, so was anxious to talk about them. I told him about how the vets were treated, etc. and he said, “that’s what I’m learning in the book”. We also spoke about the intolerable conditions they went through in the jungle areas. He asked about foxholes. I mentioned they had been around even in ancient wars. We had an interesting talk. I was also surprised he didn’t know there are hundreds of thousands of deployed troops all over the world right now. I think these topics should be discussed in school. This area we live in has two military bases and a VA hospital. Children in these surroundings should realize what these uniforms really mean. They aren’t just figures in a video game.