I dont think many people that are 35-40 yrs or youngerThis was in response to this post.
have a real good grasp of Vietnam, simply because you never get to that
point of the history book when you are in high school.
Ben is a very bright guy and politically astute. For him to state this brings up some rememberances for me, but also a question.
After Desert Storm parades were being held in their honor. In Huntington, WV the organizers demanded that Vietnam and Korean vets be included because they had never had "their" parade. The parade was an old style "ticker tape" parade in downtown Huntington with people 10-15 people deep lining the route. There were a lot of school bands, professional march bands (they marched for free), military vehicles, floats and soldiers. Lots of soldiers.
The Desert Storm troops, in uniform, were smiling and high fiving each other. The Korean vets marched with a hard pride as if they were still in uniform. The Vietnam vets started off wary, got proud and then with misty eyes shared by men in suits, women in dresses, men in MC club vests, women and in jeans and tee shirts and all those in between, started to let a smile show.
The parade was the best of America. Bankers, lawyers, doctors, mechanics, nurses, teachers, store workers, police, maintenance workers, tugmen, coal miners and all marched together or watched from the crowd and later milled around and hugged and talked.
I personally saw a WWII vet walk up and shake the hand of a Viet vet and welcomed him home. He said "finally" and stood a little straighter as they hugged each other. I later found out he had fought addiction for years and had finally corralled it, gotten married for the last time and was, as a middle aged man, raising a young family.
The evening ended with fire works on the Ohio River and many thousands singing together Lee Greenwood's "God Bless America".
It is time for younger Americans to know the bravery shown and the success our troops had in Vietnam. "Platoon" and Apocalypse Now" are cynical fakes.
Excuse my french, but it pisses me off that they are not known, as it is in Iraq and Afghanistan today, for the bravery, for the kindness and the good they did as citizen and professional warriors.
Who will teach if not us. The members of the NEA?