If you ever meet Dr. William Bond, you'd probably never guess that a) he graduated from the Naval Academy, or b) he used to fly bombing missions over Vietnam. We all know him as the retired local neurologist who, along with his wife Marcia, opened Luna restaurant right around the time The Inlander started publishing. So, Dr. Bond, got any good John McCain stories?
"Oh, I knew John McCain back in the Philippines. I didn't know him at the Academy -- I arrived three weeks after he left. Virtually everybody had heard of him because of who his father was. [McCain's father, Admiral John Sidney McCain Jr., was the commander of all forces in Vietnam from 1968-72.]
"I ran into him in the officers club bar in 1964. He was very impressive -- a larger-than-life type of guy. We played a game there: We would stand up on the bar -- they had a very long bar -- and then we'd dive down the bar and see how far we could get. We called them 'carrier landings.' We had a great time; it relieved a lot of pressure."
Despite the connection, Bond isn't supporting McCain for president, saying he is "too heavily committed to the same-old, same-old." Bond also worries that America is reliving Vietnam right now in Iraq: "If anybody who made the initial commitment decisions for the Middle East -- if they didn't look at Vietnam as a template for what could happen, then that was gross misconduct of leadership and foreign policy.
"Vietnam was an honorable thing for the guys who fought it -- who made so many sacrifices. It was noble on the part of the human beings, but the effort was not noble. The problem in Vietnam is that we went in, and then the country was told many, many different things that were not true. And that is what has happened in the past six years here.
"War is not a good answer."