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"The Tech Rep" By James Michener; Continued:

"The word which best symbolized Harvey Holt was patriotism, both in its ugly sense and in its best. He could not abide living in the United States, yet he loved the country and all it stood for: BY AND LARGE, IT'S THE BEST NATION ON THE EARTH, AND IF YOU CAN'T TRUST US, YOU CAN'T TRUST ANYBODY. If you had asked him at seventeen why he had wanted to enlist in the marines, he would have mumbled something about his country's being in trouble. If you asked him why he acted as he did at Iwo Jima or Okinawa, he would have offered some incoherent answer about his nation in peril. And when I asked him why he was chucking a good job with UniCom to fight in Korea, he told me, WHO CAN REST EASY IF HIS COUNTRY'S AT WAR? And now, even though he did not understand the trouble in Viet Nam clearly, he supported our government and felt that Eisenhower and Kennedy had known what they were doing., but he wasn't too sure about Johnson.

It was his opinion that a solid stint with the marines would be good for any young man, and he wished that more of the contemporary generation could spend some time with Sergeant Schumpeter: HE'D KNOCK SOME SENSE INTO THEIR HEADS.

But his patriotism stopped short of blind subservience. It tended that way, but his shattering experience in Korea dispelled any idea he might have had that those who happened to be in command are always right."

To be continued (when I get back from Vegas):

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