It was 1970 – I was 18 years old…standing in a protest march in Boston, Massachusetts, I was speaking out against the evil war that was raging. There weren’t that many of us and we all felt a general hatred towards ourselves from “our society”, at large. I had just graduated from high school and my brother, Danny, was fighting there. I also knew many boys – who had just turned into men – who had been drafted. As they said their good-byes to me (with their draft cards in hand), I could see and hear the despair in their eyes and hear it in their voices. I knew they felt a 50/50 chance of being killed – just as they had finally finished their major education.
Most of the “to be” soldiers had a “whole” 2 months, after graduation, to take a break from it all. At this same time, I got to know a returned veteran, who had a hand injury and was sent home. It was difficult for him and I could see, through him, how my brother’s (and all the other veterans, who “survived”) head would be messed up…I was right. My brother – in the middle of the night, one evening, shortly after he returned, woke up screaming in terror from some horrid nightmare. I didn’t see him going through this ordeal, as my dad had gone into his bedroom to ease him back into relaxation, so that he could finish sleeping. But I knew in my soul that my brother (and all of the veterans) would be messed up as the result of their service.
I pledged to myself that I would do whatever it took to help them. I was happy to do this:):):) ‘Twas the least I could do to thank them for protecting me. I did know many veterans who lost their lives because of this inane war. I constantly tried to promote Peace and Love to everyone – even those people who seemed to be enraged at me for my “hideous crime” of being a “hippie”:) How ridiculous this was – of course, as you know, “hippie” is simply a label for a Christian person. Many tried to shut me up and certainly did put me down. Yes, I was one of many; however, when you’re fighting (protesting) – you are doing it alone – only way it can be effective.
I haven’t stopped any of my protests against “my” corrupted system, even today, and I am 66 years old now. I want to tell you never to give up your cause/s, until they are solved. It’s how you win…I know it may seem that the evil people have “won”; they haven’t. They can go ahead and be as vile as they wish, but – God help them on Judgement Day – but, I don’t believe “he” will. Reason I have “he” in quotation marks is that, to me, “he” is Love. As you know, Love has already triumphed over evil. My belief it that our lives, here on earth, are a test and I don’t want to flunk this “holy course”:)
Thank you for listening and don’t be afraid of speaking out your convictions!! As it now happens, this being the year of our Lord – 2019 A.D. – most people seem to be looking/saying to me: “you were a hippie, weren’t you?” I only laugh and tell them: “I still am”.
Peace and Happiness to you!!!
With my love and thanks,
Joyce Ellen Franks (“Hippie”)