Skip to main content

A long time ago I decided that a young man was someone five years older than I was or less. Even as it evolved over time, it still worked for me. Now I just don't know.

In a few weeks I'll be sixty seven. That sounds old, but I don't feel old. I still wear the same size clothes I did in my teens, my weight's pretty much the same - if arranged a little differently. I can't run like I used to, but I tell myself that that's just because I don't run like I used to, the knees just got to hurting too much for that kind of exercise.

A few months back I volunteered for a United Way Days of Caring event and outworked a whole passel of young airmen and women from the local Air Force Base shoveling gravel.

I'm not old, I keep telling myself, I've just been around awhile. And then I read this.

Some damn fool in Georgia went and shot and killed a twenty-two year old Latino man for, as nearly as I can tell, pulling up in his driveway. Or being Latino. Or because he couldn't tell the car was backing away from him. Or something.

Rodrigo Diaz, 22, was driving around with his girlfriend and two friends when he pulled into a driveway, thinking they had arrived at another friend’s house, his brother says. But instead he pulled into the driveway of Phillip Sailors, 69, who thought his home was being robbed, his lawyer says. Sailors then shot Diaz, according to the police report, citing what Sailors told officers at the scene. Diaz later died while in the intensive care unit.
Philip Sailors is a Christian man, they say. Like me, a Viet Nam veteran. Only a couple of years older than me. Probably knew some Spanish, as if he needed to speak to Rodrigo Diaz in Spanish.
Sailors’ lawyer says his client is a Vietnam veteran with no prior criminal history and thought he and his wife were about to be victims of a home invasion. “You have to understand this is a 69-year-old man who is a military veteran who has been honorably discharged,” Michael Puglise says. “He dedicated his life to community service, specifically the Christian Lay Ministry in Latin America.”
I can get a little confused at times. I put away a lot of drugs and booze between here and the gatepost. Am I fooling myself about having my wits about me? Should I be led away quietly?
Puglise adds that Sailors’ small, quiet, quaint town is now plagued with gang activity and the home next door was vandalized weeks before. He fired a warning shot and then when the car was accelerated to go in reverse he perceived it differently.
“He’s an elderly man, he perceived the car going towards his house, towards him.”
Asked about the contention that the victim rolled the window down and said sorry and he wasn’t doing anything wrong, Puglise said he wasn’t aware of the statement.
“Each person in the situation perceived things differently,” he says. “He most certainly did not hear anything.”
"Each person in the situation perceived things differently. He most certainly did not hear anything." WTF does that mean? I'm service-connected disabled for PTSD and hearing loss, among other things. I used a lot of LSD back in the day when I was trying to get my head on straight. I know a little bit about altered perception, flashbacks, not hearing stuff. But I don't know what that means.

Is the lawyer saying that late sixty something Viet Nam vets are so decrepit that we can't tell whether a car is backing away or coming toward us? That we can't understand when a young person rolls down the window to say he's sorry? That it's okay to just shoot the driver in the head?

I guess I must old, because I surely don't know what to think about that, except maybe to call "BULLSHIT!"

Originally posted to one man's hero . . . on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:43 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA, DKos Military Veterans, and VAGV - Veterans Against Gun Violence.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

a gilas girl, Bob Johnson, claude, Renee, JekyllnHyde, Angie in WA State, hazey, filkertom, Radiowalla, Odysseus, hester, ferg, glitterscale, native, Gooserock, TrueBlueMajority, Powered Grace, Debby, Andrew C White, VetGrl, LynnS, LEP, celdd, eeff, Mnemosyne, Richard Cranium, red moon dog, Radical Faith, hubcap, madhaus, geordie, alain2112, missLotus, cskendrick, wonkydonkey, MillieNeon, mkfarkus, mrblifil, Aquarius40, roses, pedrito, Skookum, jalbert, hopeful, Cardinal96, wader, revsue, psnyder, sockpuppet, TexDem, Miss Jones, solliges, HeyMikey, NYFM, dwahzon, Steven Payne, defluxion10, Catte Nappe, riverlover, exlrrp, Matt Esler, AllisonInSeattle, zett, zerelda, mungley, randallt, tomjones, ScienceMom, Emmy, rolet, Gowrie Gal, vcmvo2, Bluesee, Jeffersonian Democrat, Chinton, chimene, ccasas, basquebob, myeye, Laurence Lewis, Kevskos, bleeding blue, marathon, Sun Tzu, where4art, GreyHawk, Fury, Gordon20024, lotlizard, markdd, paxpdx, PinHole, Tool, brentut5, Tunk, WisePiper, Blu Gal in DE, Shotput8, Ginny in CO, Naturalized Texan, FindingMyVoice, Pluto, Ekaterin, Land of Enchantment, kathny, Over the Edge, begone, lgmcp, Mother Mags, BachFan, detroitmechworks, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Kingsmeg, Mr Bojangles, BlueInARedState, mooshter, AoT, Naniboujou, blueoasis, global citizen, Libby Shaw, Crashing Vor, SadieSue, Tickticker, tommyfocus2003, sceptical observer, llbear, democracy is coming, CA Nana, suspiciousmind, Statusquomustgo, kurious, bstotts, Little, Nulwee, cpresley, One Pissed Off Liberal, old wobbly, asilomar, Habitat Vic, Cat Whisperer, blue armadillo, ksp, devis1, ColoTim, glescagal, karmsy, Wino, edsbrooklyn, FishOutofWater, Mary Mike, la urracca, sfbob, Shadowmage36, GMFORD, jnhobbs, carpunder, leonard145b, fallina7, skod, craiger, TomP, JDWolverton, rogerdaddy, also mom of 5, JeffW, JaxDem, kingneil, Chacounne, mn humanist, amyzex, OleHippieChick, Sixty Something, Tchrldy, lineatus, Its any one guess, Therapy, temptxan, J V Calin, petulans, elpacifico66, luckylizard, Keninoakland, sydneyluv, lissablack, JBL55, maggiejean, prettygirlxoxoxo, ARS, greengemini, TheFern, Methinks They Lie, janmtairy, Zotz, WakeUpNeo, War on Error, earicicle, mkor7, Hopeful Monster, CamillesDad1, kevinpdx, stevenwag, RoCali, Vetwife, schnecke21, Leftcandid, collardgreens, BlueOak, awcomeon, flitedocnm, politik, marsanges, angelajean, jakedog42, mookins, Eddie L, JoanMar, gulfgal98, tb mare, pixxer, DerAmi, Yasuragi, melfunction, addisnana, Oh Mary Oh, nosleep4u, ZedMont, Onomastic, harchickgirl1, praying manatheist, Maximilien Robespierre, TAH from SLC, kerflooey, meralda, coquiero, slowbutsure, sostos, La Gitane, Eclectablog, Bluerall, FarWestGirl, lillyspad, SoCaliana, boomerchick, mrsgoo, marleycat, sethtriggs, Santa Susanna Kid, akmk, LSmith, MRA NY, worldlotus, Empty Vessel, VTCC73, Andrew F Cockburn, StateOfGrace, Miggles, Ranger1, StratCat, jham710, DRo, SouthernLiberalinMD, Azazello, YaNevaNo, KansasNancy, isabelle hayes, Mindful Nature, Aji, Siri, IndieGuy, LefseBlue, FloridaSNMOM, Horace Boothroyd III, stellaluna, This old man, cherie clark, Mike RinRI, jan4insight, belinda ridgewood, Free Jazz at High Noon, tytalus, oldpotsmuggler, Noddy, avsp, arizonablue, FrY10cK, ItsaMathJoke, Glen The Plumber, Spirit of Life, dotdash2u, Robynhood too, CalBearMom, Hammerhand, allensl, Silvia Nightshade, nuclear winter solstice, Lily O Lady, onceasgt, countwebb, Linda1961, glorificus, Neapolitan, aresea, entrelac, GwenM, Alhambra, AguaEcon, northerntier, Smoh, ModerateJosh, starfu, kmoore61, peterfallow, The Beet, Ishmaelbychoice, LilithGardener, bontemps2012, Grizzard, dannyboy1, drnatrl, citylights

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site