Thinking about Heroes and Idols
by Lydia Bogar
With the clarity of 20-20 vision, the Police Action in Vietnam was my first war. I was too young to know anything about the earlier Police Action north of the DMZ. M*A*S*H provided me with an education about both fronts.
Daddy was in the Army before I was even thought of; uniforms, photographs, souvenirs, and tangible memories were stored down cellar. At the age of eight, I watched and learned about Cossacks who were murdering students in my father’s homeland. When the cousins arrived in late December, I practiced my Hungarian phrases on them.
Here’s where the 20-20 gets a little foggy. There was a man on television—a sailor, a soldier, a cowboy. A super hero. Our parents told us that John Wayne was the real deal.
But he wasn’t.
His films taught us to hate and fear Indians. And Japanese people. And German people. And then, in real life, Communists.
And while Duke was considered a patriot, appearing on posters for savings bonds, seeming to live a life of True Grit, he never served in the military, in any capacity, in any war.
At the end of the day, the man never wore a uniform of his own.
Our own “Renaissance Woman,” Lydia has done everything from teaching English to doing volunteer emergency service. She says she “hails from Woosta–and is educated at BOLLI.” Lydia co-chairs BOLLI’s Writers Guild and takes writing courses every term.