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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Coping with war using humor

A Little Humor Goes A Long Way

by Ashleigh Tranmer
   Grade 12, Brady High School

A Little Humor Goes a Long Way
By: Ashleigh Tranmer
Brady Public School
Why is it that humor can have such an impact on one person’s memory?  A little humor can go a long way for a sailor.  Even though there were mainly bad times in the Vietnam War, this story proves there were also a few good times.  Mr. Buck Traxler, who joined the Navy at 18 years of age, enjoyed sharing this funny story with us about himself and his friend Steve.  The day after Buck arrived in Vietnam, their base had been attacked.  Well, Mr. Traxler and a guy named Steve were on watch down on the road near the base.  They had decided that they would be like John Wayne and split up and take different ways because their philosophy was, “If anybody came shooting at us, only one of us would get shot instead of both of us at the same time.”
A little bit after they had split, Buck all of a sudden heard “WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?” Ready to kick some butt, Buck looked around for what Steve was talking about.  Well, Steve sprinted towards the ditch and plunged into it.  Buck started speeding his way towards the ditch too, because if there was someone really there, he didn’t want to be killed, and so he ran and jumped in the ditch along with Steve.  Neither of them knew that this ditch they had emerged themselves in was filled with about 3 feet of water.  Well now that they were drenched with water, Buck finally asked what they were looking for.  Comes to find out that Steve had never seen fireflies before, and there was a whole swarm of them.  So they ended up in the ditch full of water all because Steve was freaked out by a bunch of fireflies.

A “Bag of Laughs” can turn a bad thing, into nothing but a good memory.  Mr. Traxler had come home from Vietnam with a “Bag of Laughs” in is suitcase.  Well the security at the airport searched Buck’s bag, and cut everything open like his toothpaste and cigarettes.  The guy searching the bag found the bag of laughs, and looked at them and put it back after asking a lot of questions about it.  When he put it back in the bag, he accidentally pushed on the bag of laughs and a high-pitched laughing noise shrieked from Bucks bag.  Curious people stared, trying to find out what it was.  Buck got a kick out of this, and just replaced everything back into his bag.  Buck turned something that could have been a miserable memory for him into a humorous one, because he allowed himself to look at the funny things and not the bad ones.
All in all, humor can make every thing change in a blink of an eye, and Mr. Buck Traxler proved that by telling his stories. These memories could have been horrible to him, but he found the humor in all of it and made his memory around that.

Veteran's Data

Name of Veteran: Buck Traxler
Date of Birth: 1-9-48  Place of Birth: Missoula Montana
Date of Induction:   Branch of Service: U.S. Navy  Rank at Discharge: 
Location of Interview: Brady High School
Interviewed by: Raelee Bishop

Posted by becky duty on 05/17 at 12:12 PM
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