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I'm deeply sorry if it's inappropriate to post this here. But I responded to a post in the Hollywood subforum (http://m14forum.com/hollywood/130332-full-metal-jacket.html) and was encouraged to share it where more vets could read it. I found this forum a while back but my M1A SOCOM 16 and this forum are still very new to me and "Wall Of Honor" seems a very appropriate place to share this with my limited understanding.

At any rate, here was my post in that thread:

This movie.

Well, I'd seen Platoon before Full Metal Jacket though I don't know which came before which (and there's probably a "Platoon" thread I've not yet encountered). And I will quickly and easily say that Platoon affected me more than FMJ. But there seemed a time encompassing the release of these two movies that found Hollywood more willing to talk about Viet Nam than, perhaps, before or since. The first (1/3?) half of FMJ was what completely bought folks into the movie, not the 2nd half. Whereas most of Platoon was just, well, overwhelming. I was sweating, wide-eyed, and white-knuckled watching it and have never had any such movie-watching experience before or since.

I was born in '61. I watched Brinkley, Cronkite, et. al. talk about the battles in Viet Nam and all the maps of Cambodia, Laos, etc. with the 'graphics' all in black and white. It's how I grew up. I wasn't a healthy kid. So I was home a lot. I watched the body counts, the choppers, the bits of film, the droning commentary. I've told people time and time again that's how I grew up. Watching the reporting of the war in Viet Nam. It's certainly received mixed results.

Because of that closed life in a small town along with my age, I never knew anyone that had experienced those times until later in life. Soon after its erection, I visited the Viet Nam memorial in D.C. I wept openly when I arrived at the MIA/POW tent. One of the very few - if not the only time - in my life. I'm outrageously and forthrightly proud of our servicemen and the sacrifice they, their families and friends have made.

I've never really had an outlet to express it. I still don't. You veterans have no Earthly idea how grateful, respectful, and humbled I am. I'm envious in some weird way. Or maybe it's not all that weird.

I bought a side-arm years back because my amazingly wonderful wife said that having a firearm and knowing how to use it was something she thought was the right thing to do. I bought a membership to a range. Springfield Armory showed up with an M1A SOCOM 16. I had to stop myself after buying rounds more than once to PTANG that steel plate at 100yds.

I'm humbled, honored, proud, and nervous to own this SOCOM 16 I've purchased. I want to treat it right. I want to learn it right. I want to be right with it. I want to honor all of those who've held this or similar weapons to defend this country.

Most of all I want to say thank you. YOU. You, yourself, your family, your friends, anyone that's ever been important to you.

I can never say thank you enough. I don't yet feel worthy to carry this rifle. I hope to get there. It seems the proper and righteous thing to do.
 
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