charles willeford: something about a writer

Charles Willeford by Ana Barrado

     "A good half of the men you deal with in the Army are psychopaths. There's a pretty hefty overlap between the military population and the prison population, so I knew plenty of guys like Junior in Miami Blues and Troy in Sideswipe. Like, some of these other Tankers I knew used to swap bottles of liquor with infantrymen in exchange for prisoners, and then just shoot 'em for fun. I used to say, 'Goddamn it, will you stop shooting those prisoners!' And they would just shrug and say, 'Hell, they'd shoot us if they caught us!' Which was true, they used to shoot any Tankers they captured. So that sort of behavior became normal to them, and I used to wonder, 'What's gonna-happen to these guys when they go back into civilian life? How are they gonna act?' You can't just turn it off and go to work in a 7-11. If you're good with weapons or something in the Army, you're naturally gonna do something with weapons when you get out, whether it's being a cop or a criminal. These guys learned to do all sorts of things in the Army that just weren't considered normal by civilian standards."  
   
-- Charles Willeford


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