Friday, October 9, 2009
What A Long Strange Trip It's Been
Mike Quinlivan used to take guitar lessons after me, every Tuesday at 10:30. A great guy, he is instantly recognizable as the long haired, ponytail wearing, marine tagged, middle aged, Indochina survivor and tribesman we can all historically categorize at 50 paces. Not too far into our friendship Mike agreed to let me attempt to document the story of his 2 tours in Vietnam as a Marine grunt and later as a dog handler. Every Tuesday for 2 years we would get together and hang out for an hour or two, sometimes talk about Vietnam, sometimes not. I can't say Mike especially enjoyed these Tuesdays and sometimes I didn't either. Who wants to make someone go to such a painful place? I quickly learned the first tour was off limits. The second tour he spent with his dog Voo Doo, patrolling for land mines. Some of these stories were so traumatic I could only imagine what we weren't talking about with the first tour of duty. That being said, it was one of the great privileges of my life to work on this project.