Cheering for Ukraine, Israel and Ole Miss

Published 7:45 am Wednesday, October 18, 2023

By Steve Stricker

Thursday, February 24, 2022, idiot dumbass Putin attacked Ukraine to expand Russia’s territory at the cost of thousands of innocent lives. I had very serious thoughts of taking my M16 and .45 automatic pistol (same as I carried in Vietnam), get on a plane, and join the fight against that butcher-dictator.  

Loser Putin quicky realized he couldn’t just waltz in and take this country without a fight as the proud people of Ukraine, back up, defended their precious homeland, fought and are proudly fighting against him as we speak – even his own troops and Russian people don’t want this war.

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At no point then or now do I believe the people of Russia condoned this invasion or wanted more land – it was all egoist Putin and someone needs to place a bullet between his obnoxious eyes allowing him all the space he deserves in hell eternally burning in agonizing pain and this war would immediately be halted!

On Saturday, October 7, 2023, Hamas, which holds power in Palestinian Gaza, unprovoked, indiscriminately fired more than 5,000 rockets into Israel while simultaneously launching ground, air and sea attacks, brutally murdering, slaughtering, thousands of men, women, kids and babies and taking over 150 captives.

Once more my hand was on the M16, .45 automatic pistol, and researching flights to Israel.  Again, in no way do I believe the people of Palestine wanted this invasion by these Isis terrorists who are now suffering from this eye-for-eye payback justified from Israel.

Flashback August 1968 my senior year in college, Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO) having barely survived flunking out after my dad suddenly died weeks before my freshman year, graduating that summer, finally some stability in my life, looking forward to the American dream life – but the Vietnam war was raging in Southeast Asia (wherever that was) and just like that, diploma one hand, draft papers from Uncle Sam’s Army in the other.  

No one in the United States, soldier, or world knew what this “War” “Conflict” was about except death.  The National Guard was inundated with guys wanting to enlist to get out of going to Vietnam, joining the Navy, Airforce, Coast Guard, or running to Canada – self-preservation…don’t blame them, I just went with the flow. 

Unlike Russia attacking Ukraine, Hamas attacking Israel, Starkville attacking Oxford, I had no dog in this ‘Nam fight, but immediately after Basic Training was on a jet to Ben Hoa, then Long Binh, Vietnam’s 90th Replacement Center. After an agonizing week – orders for the 18th Engineer Headquarter Company, Dong Ba Thin on the South China Sea across from the huge Cam Rahn Bay Air Base – One of the safest places in Vietnam – Thank You God!!

Quick letter off to hero mom Gert – I was going to be okay!  Next night the most horrific rocket, mortar, sapper attack ever to hit that area blew me out my bunk, a meter from being dead, killing so many that night, making all the news at home. Next letter from Gert, “I thought you said you were safe!” 

Then, attached to USAECV (United States Army Engineer Command Vietnam) 14 miles from Saigon over a year in that death hole, only God saving me from so many incidents – didn’t then or now understand that war and honestly, unlike Ukraine and Israel where I greatly care, frankly, it was over a year that over and over could have taken my life, has given me PTSD to this day, still don’t understand why I was there or why 58,220 US soldiers died and thousands more wounded for nothing….  GO UKRAINE, ISRAEL, OLE MISS!!

Steve is an Oxford resident, received his Ph.D. in Counseling from Ole Miss, and can be reached at