by Tom Paine
After my second tour in Vietnam I thought I was done with killing for good. And I had thought going into the war that I would never be able to hate anyone. Even my first tour wasn't about hating the Viet Cong, it was about stopping the Communist north, and sending a message to Russia and China that communist aggression had to stop.
By the time it came to re-up, my views had changed. I knew by then that the war was really about propping up a corrupt regime and making money for the defense contractors who built the weapons of war, like the helicopters I flew. I almost didn't re-up, but I felt that I owed it to my fellow pilots and soldiers. I didn't want to feel like I'd hung them out to dry. I remember the looks on the faces of the downed pilots that we rescued from enemy territory. Nothing they said could match the look of gratitude and relief in their eyes. It was a look into the human soul.
Near the end of my second tour, we were coming back from flying cover for a supply drop at a Forward Firebase. We came over a hill and surprised an entire VC training company marching in an open field. Except for a few instructors they didn't even have weapons, just wooden training rifles.
The Green Beret on the starboard mini-gun shouted, "Tally Ho!" and opened fire, raking the defenseless green young trainees, many just boys in their early teens. The CIA guy hitching a ride with us leaped to man the port mini-gun and get in on the slaughter. I made a series of tight turns, always giving at least one of the gunners a clear field of fire.
When it was over, the CIA guy ordered me to hover so that he could get a body count. "Two, four, six, eight..." Somewhere around 120 he called out, "Hey, we missed one." I looked down to see a wounded kid stumbling toward the tree line. The CIA guy swung the mini-gun around but I jerked the stick back and climbed out. "Hey, watcha doin'?" he demanded. I didn't answer. All I could think about was my younger brother, home in junior high, probably not much younger than this poor kid stumbling through the forest, looking for help.
By the end of my second tour I had learned to hate -- myself, and us, as a people and a government -- for what we were doing to such a lovely country. But like I said, I thought when my second tour ended I was done for good with killing and hate.
Then my employer, Blue Star Airlines, went bankrupt, it's assets stripped away by the CEO and his cronies. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation only paid out about sixty cents on the dollar on the pension I'd spent thirty years accumulating. Worst of all, since my wife, Lori, also worked for the airline as a flight attendant until cancer forced her to take disability leave, we lost all medical coverage.
A writer in Esquire magazine once described his wife the way I thought of Lori: As the person I would want to be if I didn't have to be me. Waiting while she underwent chemo, I had lots of time to think about not only the situation our family was in, but what was happening to the country I had loved and fought for. I won't go into the way Lori finally died. The memories are too painful. But I learned two things from her death: I was not done hating, and I was not done killing. Only this time I wouldn't be killing kids in some faraway country. This time I was going after the real enemy, the real bad guys, our fascist politicians waging resource wars abroad and a war on the middle class here at home.
About the Book:
The only thing the elite fear, an uprising of the people, is about to be realized.
After bankruptcy took away his dying wife's medical care, Thomas Paine is on a crusade for a Second Bill of Rights using violence against politicians, banksters, and CEO's.
How far will FBI Agent Darren Medlin go to stop the public from joining Paine's insurgency? Forced to publicize Paine's demands, what decisions will talk show host Crystal Dickerson have to make? And which way will the country turn?
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About the Author:
Raised in a politically active family, Jess Money majored in Political Science with a minor in Economics. He sold his first magazine article at the age of 16 and has since written everything from ad copy and political mailers to a screenplay for DreamWorks, which earned him membership in the Writers Guild of America. Along the way he had a career in professional motorsports, worked with the U.S. Women's Olympic Volleyball program, managed two of the entertainment industry's most acclaimed screenwriting programs, and worked as a bar bouncer when that's what it took to keep the wolf from the door.
His latest book is the political thriller, www.publicenemiesbook.com>Public Enemies.
You can visit Jess at .
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