14 February 2011

With Love

Trapped at the writing conference, I briefly interacted with another writer who annoyed me. I usually love people from the start, but he was equal parts self-deprecatory and boastful at the same time. A toxic mix really. He was wearing a fatigue jacket, something he probably schlepped to the Army surplus store to pick up. He wore his military jacket the way most floppy haired hipsters do, with a sense of irony and as a way, presumably, to make a statement.

This particular gentleman was annoyed that he had spotted several other young writers milling around wearing similar attire. "This is my thing," he proclaimed, perhaps forgetting the long history of appropriating military jackets by other and earlier floppy haired hipsters.  In speaking with my friend (also present at the time) whose husband served in Afghanistan, there was a sense of frustration that we both felt.  This man, boy really, felt comfortable weraring his military jacket as a way to thumb his nose at those who serve, as a way to say he doesn't.  I promised my fair friend that I would talk about this moment, and indeed wear a military jacket with respectful intentions.  Because when I wear it, I think of all the men and women who have done so much more than I ever will, who have risked so much for all of us.  When I wear it, I think of all the Vietnam soldiers who were spit on, yelled at, and denied a welcome home.

You see, my father served for 26 years.  He joined the Army when he was 17.  He was just a kid, though I'm sure at the time he felt he was ready.  By the time he was 25, my dad was stationed in Vietnam.  He was a medic, one of those brave souls who face death and try to keep everyone alive, everyone breathing. This jacket is not my father's.  It is his friend's. They accidentally grabbed the wrong ones one evening and this jacket stayed with my father. I would like to think the Goodnow family has the Baker jacket tucked away somewhere.


Outfit consists of:
Jacket: 1960s Army jacket { similar here at Greatest Friend and earlier, warmer version here in my shop }
Sweater: red drape cardigan by absolutely found at Last Chance
Dress: patterned shift dress by biographie found at TJ Maxx
Belt: brown skinny belt found at TJ Maxx
Tights: gray windowpane tights found at TJ Maxx
Boots: brown boots by BP found at Last Chance


Meghan Brinson said...

I love your outfit, your post, and your poofy hair! I gotta get to TJ MAXX ;)

Thanks too, for making the military jacket a fashion statement about remembering our loved ones who wore these pieces.

Aimée - Vint Condition said...

Poofy! I prefer to think full. And thank goodness our town has a TJ Maxx because I would crumple if left with our other options.

As for military jackets, I would much rather see them out and about being worn as a sign of respect and remembrance, rather than as a neo-hippy statement. That guy made my eye twitch.

Adelaide's Homesewn said...

such a great thoughtful post. i admire your father.