A blog for writing and discussion in English 110 at The Ohio State University in Marion.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Superstitions during the Vietnam War
Many American Soldiers throughtout time have had their own superstitions or use of good luck charms, these were both popular during the vietnam war as well. The most common good luck charm during this time, from my research was snapshots of family members and loved ones, but there were a multitude of others, including many that you would expect.
Rabbit tails, four-leafed clovers, Wedding or engagement rings although they could rarely be worn except on ones dog-tags and Religious symbols were also common.(Cross necklaces, Rosearies, Star of David etc.)
These things are significant because it was something they brought with them everywhere, when they barely had room for anything. They were objects soldiers held to keep their minds off the war when they needed to relax, something to come home to, Nam couldn't be all there was
More suprising to me were some of the superstitions these men carried during the War. One I found interesting was the three strike rule. Lighting a third cigarette on the same match or zippo flame was considered extremely bad luck. Sometimes this was unavoidable because of weather conditions or time restraints. But when it happened, men would duck down, ready for someone nearby to be taken out by the enemy. Another source of misfortune was to talk about who would "get it next", and these discussions often ended in a fist fight.