For some reason I just flashed on the feeling I had many years ago when my best buddy and I were on the flight line sitting on our mobility bags while the C-130s had their engines idling and the loading doors open. It was the height of Yom Kippur War. The Soviets had been supplying Syria and Egypt. The Israelis had already sunk a Soviet transport ship. Soviet destroyers were in the Mediterranean off the coast of Syria and the Soviet Air Force was on alert. The DoD had just gone to DEFCON 3.
It was a beautiful autumn day in Arkansas. There was very little talking among the people sitting with us. It felt very unreal. I kept telling myself I was just an avionics specialist, I wasn't going to be going anywhere near the shooting if it started. Deep inside, though, I knew if it came to that, the shooting would involve nukes.
Fortunately, the Soviets finally stood down.
It's is a sad commentary on our day that I can look back at Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev and realize, compared to today, those men were great statesmen. Sad, sad, sad.
Puck T. Smith is the nom de plume of a man who wishes to live his life in peace and obscurity while at the same time sharing the insights he has acquired through both suffering and joy in more than half a century of living in this world of terrible tragedy, radiant beauty and dizzying possibilities.