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Ace of Spades

April 12, 2014

So I was reading one of my favorite magazines (Mental Floss) when I fascinating tidbit caught my interest.

“When U.S. forces learned that the Vietcong were superstitious about playing cards–believing the ace of spades foretold death–they dispersed thousands through the jungle.” (Pg 46, Mental Floss, Dec 2013)

Last summer I learned that my dad, who was in the Army Reserves for 20+ years, had worked in PsyOps and not Supply as I had been told as a child.  So I called him and asked him about this.  He said that once they found that out they put the Ace of Spades on everything they dropped, especially pamphlets with slogans on it.

He also went on to say that they were trained in finding someone’s weak spot and then exploit that weak spot.  Every culture has one.  Then he had to go or else “your mother is going to exploit me”.  I must have caught them about to head out the door somewhere.  But that one little statement explains my father extremely well.  He was trained to find the weak spot and exploit it.  My father was not an easy man to grow up with…whether he meant to or not, he could reduce me to tears quicker than anything.  Nothing was every good enough…and now I know why.  As a young man, he was trained in psychological warfare and it became part of his personality, willingly or not.  It is only since my son was born (who is the apple of his Grandpa’s eye) that I’ve started developing a more…loving(?) relationship with my father.  It doesn’t excuse everything but it does explain in it in a manner that puts it in a completely different perspective.

May Ares aid all soldiers in reintegrating into their home life so that love is felt on both sides.  May their training not have a negative effect on their loved ones.  May we all find appropriate ways of dealing with that which is challenging in our lives.

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