I am constantly torn on whether or not Sodapop went to Vietnam. So I’m going to jot down my thoughts here. Feel free to add on if I missed anything
Reasons he might have:
- he was a lower class drop out young male (primary target for selective service up to and somewhat even past the 1969 draft lottery)
- se hinton told Rob Lowe that yes, sodapop does go to Vietnam and dies there
Reasons he might NOT have:
- according to his birthdate on the outsiders wiki and the draw dates from the 1969 draft lottery, he’d have been 21 (one year younger the average age of a Vietnam soldier) BUT his calling number was 283
- this means that 282 rounds of drafting went on before his number would’ve been called, making his chances of being called up fairly low
- Hinton also said at a later date that if something didn’t happen in the books it isn’t canon
- sodapop canonically tore a ligament before the books occurrences, meaning that if it was severe enough, even if he had been drafted he might not have even passed the physical.
Results: we can safely pretend that Sodapop got to live happily ever after and have the evidence to back it up
Vietnam was hell on my family. I mean, it was great growing up with a dad in the Army. We had medical, dental, food for all the kids. I was taken care of by the base until I was 18. The Army was his way out. He came from a farm where he was picking cotton and hauling hay, so he wanted to get the fuck out of there. When he went to Vietnam, it just tore up our family. I feel sorry for him, ‘cause he’s a great guy, but what do you do after you’ve been killing people for a living? He started drinking heavily, and he became violent. Then my folks split. So rock was my escape. I’ve always loved music. My mom played piano, and my uncles played music. But I did all sorts of jobs before the band.
In April 1865, at the bloody, bitter end of the Civil War, Ebenezer Nelson Gilpin, a Union cavalryman, wrote in his diary, “Everything is chaos here. The suspense is almost unbearable.”
“We are reduced to quarter rations and no coffee,” he continued. “And nobody can soldier without coffee.”
If war is hell, then for many soldiers throughout American history, it is coffee that has offered some small salvation. Hidden Kitchens looks at three American wars through the lens of coffee: the Civil War, Vietnam and Afghanistan.
Photo: "Nobody can soldier without coffee,“ a Union soldier wrote in 1865. (Above) Union soldiers sit with their coffee in tin cups, their hard-tack, and a kettle at their feet. Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection/Flickr The Commons