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On the national seal

“Vietnam harbored a variety of exotic animals, and they were often attracted by our perimeter lights. I once watched an anteater collect dinner for nearly an hour. Bats swooped at us; their sonar seemed to be attracted by the telephones. And there were the reptiles, especially the ‘fuck-you’ lizard. Science calls him the gecko, after his distinctive call. Pale turquoise with orange spots, this ten-inch relative of the dinosaur has sung his mournful song for tens of thousands of years without being understood. Now he crept up to a guard tower in the night, eased up to the silent American guard, and hollered, ‘FUCK YOU!’ The guard jumped out of his skin and, often, out of the tower. The ‘fuck-you’ lizard is as much a symbol of Vietnam as the eagle is a symbol of America.” – John Ketwig, …and a hard rain fell

Published inJohn KetwigThe Vietnam War

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