“It was right after I graduated from the New York Military Academy. I thought, what the hell, when else am I going to wear these uniforms? So, I hopped a flight to Saigon before my hair grew out. Immediately, I was mistaken for an officer, because of my height, bravery and genius. Before I knew it, I was leading a patrol out in the jungle.
“Nothing much happened for the first few days, except Bob Mueller, who was my second-in-command, took a couple of shots at me in a fragging attempt. Which was very bad, a complete conflict of interest, but that’s how Mueller is. Totally conflicted. Then we came under heavy fire from a battalion of Viet Cong and I was captured.
“I know I’ve said I don’t like people who were captured, but for me, it was over quickly. I just kept telling the VC how important I was, and the many things I had already accomplished even though I was only 18. I offered them a chance to learn from me by letting me start Trump Rice Paddy University. Finally, their commander—he was a disgusting mess--asked me, ‘You going try escape?”
“I just said, ‘We’ll see.’ Then the whole battalion fell asleep at once, and I jumped at the chance to escape. Just as I ran off into the jungle, they all sprang up and ran in the opposite direction. They were just very stupid. People say they would not have won the war if I had stayed.
“The funny thing was, it was a Viet Cong medic who first diagnosed me with bone spurs. “You got da bone spurs,” he said, when he was checking me out after I had laughed off being tortured. He had a funny accident, like all Orientals do. That’s when I first realized something I’ve always thought since—if you’re going to fight a war with America, learn to speak English first. That’s where Iran is going to go wrong.
“When I got back to the base, I told them I escaped. They like people who escape, so I was kind of surprised after a couple of days, hanging around the barracks, letting people know that they could tell me how great I was for outwitting the VC, that they told me I had to go back, because they had captured a spy and he had told them about my bone spurs when he broke under interrogation.
“I was disappointed, because, although there weren’t many woman at the base, I hadn’t grabbed all of them, and I didn’t want the war to be ruined for those girls because I hadn’t moved in on them like a bitch. But they insisted, and they also said that all records and photos of me in Vietnam would be destroyed for security reasons, and if I ever got drafted, be sure to tell them about the bone spurs.
“So, I was just following orders when I got 4-F’d out of the draft. But I had already been there. Just like I was there on 9-11. “You were one of the bravest soldiers we ever had, sir.”
“That’s what General Eisenhower told me.”