My father’s gun: like riding a bike (if he knew how to do that)
We’re heading back to Cu Chi with our group of Rotarians and Vietnam veterans. I’m hoping to get another shot at firing an M-16, which is the weapon my father used here 40 years ago. (The Cu Chi tunnel attraction features a shooting range with all sorts of military weapons, including AK-47s, but I wanted to stick with the father-daughter theme.)
When we went there by ourselves on Veterans Day, my father and I each took a turn. I couldn’t tell if anyone was hitting the targets – it’s practically a driving range, and the targets don’t flip if you hit them – but I’m pretty sure I missed. My father couldn’t tell how he did, either, but at least he held the rifle correctly. Click on the video link below to watch him back in action.
This was the first time he had fired an M-16 since leaving Vietnam in 1968. Afterwards, he said, “It was a strange feeling to be firing an M-16 in the same area that I was stationed in 40 years ago. And even more strange that the M-16 was handed to me by a Vietnamese tour guide. But the strangest feeling was the fact that my daughter’s first opportunity to fire a weapon was also an M-16 at Cu Chi.”