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It was some time during the June of 1968. I received a letter, informing me that I'd been drafted into the Vietnam war.
I was young and politically naive, but I knew i didn't support the war.
That summer, I worked at meat processing plant. I used a water gun to remove blood clots from slaughtered pigs.
One morning, something snapped, almost physical; a leaking sensation in my chest. I went straight home, packed a suitcase, and left.
I drove and I drove. North. I was driving on adrenaline. Attempting an escape from the draft. I drove all the way to the Rainy River: The border between the US and Canada.
Then I drove west. I followed the rainy river, until i eventually stopped at an old Motel.
I stayed there with the old man who owned the place; Elroy Berdahl. He was quiet, but my own guilt imbedded a sense of judgement in his gaze.
I helped him out to keep myself busy. He payed me for my service, after the cost of the motel.
On the last day, the sixth day, He took me out fishing on the rainy river. I think he knew what I was struggling with. He gave me the ultimate choice.
He stopped the boat not but 20 yards from the Canadian border. I could've jumped; run; avoided the draft. But I couldn't do it.
I simply couldn't force myself to do it. The next day, I drove home. I would go to the war. I would kill, and I would see people killed around me. All because I couldn't do it. I coudn't jump.
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