There I was, in the hot summer of 1968, trudging through the swamps of central Louisiana, surrounded by bugs and armadilloes, weighed down for days with weapons and a heavy backpack, being trained to be a killing machine in the jungles of Vietnam (training which fortunately I never needed in the jungles of Germany). Is it any wonder that I would stand there in a foxhole that I just dug and vow two things: that I would never in my life return to the state of Louisiana and that I would never go camping?
For 44 years, I have kept those vows!
Until next week. No, don't worry, I'm not going camping. I'm flying into New Orleans, Louisiana, which I realize is a world away from Fort Polk but still has me struggling morally with that vow which was, I argue, made under extenuating circumstances. Now I know how those Republican senators feel who are finally dumping Grover Norquist's no-tax pledge!