WAYS: Colors p.2
War Beads:

On a trip to Massachusetts weeks before the 2008 presedential election, I met John a member of the American Legion Bikers: Post 28 or ALB28. The ALB28 are a group of Vietnam War Veteran motorcycle riders. John, the image of the counter-cultural biker of that generation, he could have been mistaken for a Hell’s Angel. However he explained that in addition to volunteering at the local Veteran’s Hospital where he and his fellow bikers council returning veterans of our current wars, the bikers wear beaded necklaces in which their tours of military service are encoded as they would be on a the ‘rack’ of a military uniform. They use these necklaces to identify one another and as identification when dealing with law-enforcement personnel who are often veterans of more recent wars. The colors on the previous page represent those used in ribbons issued by the US military during my lifetime: from Vietnam through the ‘Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal’ (issued from Sept. 12, 2001 through a date to be determined).