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When My Father Finished My Last Battle
On My Return Home from Vietnam
By Bill Davenport

When I came home from Vietnam, I flew first class. Everything went well until I arrived in Chicago. Upon arriving at the gate for my flight on to Fort Wayne, Indiana, I was asked to wait until others had boarded. Not being overly concerned, as I had consumed some spirits on the flight from Seattle, I waited. The only thought in my mind was "I'll be home tonight." The next thing I know is being told that they were sorry, that the plane was full, and they could get me out the next morning, if I didnít mind spending the night in the airport. I became a bit irrational [must have been the spirits] as I explained that I was a first class passenger and was not flying military standby. Their explanation was that they didnít know this, hence they had filled the plane and it was too late to correct the mistake. I went completely bonkers! I grabbed the supervisor-red coat and threatened rip his manhood off and feed it to him if I was not given a flight home that evening.

Well, the police got everything straightened out. They escorted me to a small airline by the name of HUB and I was flown home by these fine people. I thought that my problems were solved. Wrong. A flight on a military |C-130 would have been first class in comparison. When I arrived in Fort Wayne, I felt as if I had went 10 rounds with Cassius Clay, not mention that the fact that spirits that I had taken solely for medicinal purposes had started to wear off.

My father was not yet at the airport, so I did what any right thinking GI would do, I located the airport bar. I proceeded to have a beer. There was a customer seated down the bar from me who started to deride my service in Vietnam. I told the bartender that unless he wanted a terrible problem that he should talk to this fine citizen. The bartender did as was requested, but alas to no avail, whereupon , the fight started. I had this sorry piece of feces on the floor rearranging his features when I felt a huge hand on my back lifting me up and carrying me like a kicking swinging suitcase. It was my father. He was a big man six foot four and about two hundred and forty pounds. His only comment was " Some things never change."As we left the bar the person with whom I had a disagreement, righted himself, and rushed toward us. My father hit him hard, and I don't believe that his heels touched the ground until he had cleared three tables. Other than that my return home was rather uneventful.