Hitching a ride, trusting a partner, marrying the same person three times
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Claude Anshin Thomas went to Vietnam at the age of eighteen and came home a decorated combat veteran. Today he is a monk in the Soto Zen tradition and an active speaker and Zen teacher in the United States and Europe. He is also the founder of the Zaltho Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes peace and nonviolence. He lives in Florida.
I remember the day I left for my military service. My father drove me to the bus station in Erie, Pennsylvania. I had a Boy Scout suitcase with my name written on it in black Magic Marker. My father bought me a ticket and left me there to wait for the bus. No goodbye hug, no handshake, no parting words.
From the day I was born, I was trained to be a soldier, encouraged in the way I was brought up to hunt, kill, dominate, rule, and control my environment. My family life was a form of war, filled with anger and violence, which made it no different from that in most of the houses around mine.