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Let me feel your psyche talk. Reading a recap of the news this morning made me want to break into song, sorry Olivia Newton John. It seems that Mr T is on a Twitter tear, which obviously means he’s not happy, and he’s setting the stage for his United Nation’s address today. What he will say to the General Assembly is anybody’s guess, but one look at his Tweets tells us he’s getting aggressive with the “Rocket Man.” And Nikki Haley’s response?

“He gets emotional.”

Awww. Imagine what would have happened if Hillary Clinton set policy via Tweets creating one scandal after another, and then her Ambassador said she was just being emotional? Imagine President Obama saying just about anything Mr T has said?!! Imagine any US President mock/striking a woman with a GIF of his golf swing! This is our new normal, we have somehow normalized the behavior of a 12 year old boy.

Last night Bob and I drove out to a lake house for dinner with some new friends. We have the shared experience of our daughter’s residency at Vanderbilt. Their doctor-bride-to-be will be married in January, and she is a Pediatric Orthopedist. We met Susan and Tom by chance at the eclipse, and liked them before we found out our girls actually knew each other. We had a lovely time and returned home in time to watch the premiere of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s epic documentary “The Vietnam War.”

I got pretty emotional, because my brothers served in that war.

I had no idea that the eventual leader of the Viet Cong, Ho Chi Minh, had first written to FDR after WWII for help with establishing independence from the French for his country. That letter was never delivered. After the Chinese Revolution, Russia was only too happy to help this nationalist leader fight for a united Vietnam.

I didn’t know a young congressman named John Kennedy saw the futility of this proxy war for the French. And that in 1959, the first two American soldiers were killed as they watched a movie. The incremental lead up to war was chilling, and resonates today with our troubles in North and South Korea. And so much is about the context of our time, and how that shapes our point of view.

In the 1960s, we thought we were fighting for freedom, because we were afraid of Communism. Fear pushed four presidents of both parties to intercede in a bloody civil war for French Indochina – we didn’t see the obvious end of colonialism. Hindsight may hopefully teach us something this time around.

If we can manage to not let our emotions take over; if our President can control his temperamental Twitter tirades; if we don’t turn our backs on history.

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On this Veteran’s Day, I’d like to pay tribute to my four brothers.

Michael Edward Lynn passed away last year, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/26/sports/mike-lynn-former-vikings-general-manager-dies-at-76.html?_r=0 but I remember when our younger brother Jim received his First Lieutenant Bar and  Mike had to salute him! He was 22 by the time I moved back with my family of birth., and was already out in the world seeking his fortune. But Mike served the Army proudly in Korea.

James Joseph Lynn was an Intelligence Officer in Vietnam. My psychologist brother had just graduated from Columbia University when he enlisted in the Army and was sent to Monterey Language School. He met his wife in California and only told me one story about the war. He was at the bar on the top floor of the officer’s club in Saigon when an air raid siren rang out in the night. Only one guy did what he was supposed to do, go back to his bunker. That was the soldier who was shot by a stray bullet.

It made a big impression on teenage me, that subtle message of karma, bravery, and fate all rolled into one little anecdote.

Eric Berla (step-brother) was an original beatnik. He introduced me to Pete Seeger and rebellion. We were both against the war.  Not wanting to kill anyone, but still having to face the draft, he enlisted as a pilot and flew Med Evac helicopters all over Vietnam. I imagined it was like being in a continuous replay of MASH, but in fact most of his fellow pilots never made it home. The red cross on his Huey was like a target.

John (Brian) Cerullo (half-brother) was career Air Force. He was stationed in Germany and later married a German woman. The Flapper’s second child never went to college but rose through the ranks and wrote books about radar, finally becoming a teacher. Though I didn’t know him well, I think we share a certain dry sense of humor.

Here we are at the wedding: Jim is seated in the red tie, and Eric is behind him to the right. Mike’s wife Jorja is in red, but he and Brian were not able to travel. I’m so proud of my brothers, but somehow just saying thank you for your service doesn’t seem like enough.

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