Vietnam, 68, 1st CAV.
What we, as a nation, should learn from the wars we have fought is to never again blame the solider for the actions of the politicians. Vietnam, if it is remembered at all, is remembered as the war America “lost”. The true story of Vietnam is that Nixon gained both the military peace and political peace, it was the Democrats that cut the funding to South Vietnam which lead to 2-3 million deaths in that region. (Sounds a lot like Iraq and once again, the Democrats.)
The Vietnam veteran, thanks to Kerry, Media, Movies, and the Democrat party, was painted as a drug crazed monster. The politicians (Kerry) got lifetime careers out of blaming us and while he went on to eventually become Secretary of State, it was 1985 before I would admit to having been there. If asked, I would say I was stationed in Germany during my service. Not out of fear, I am 6’4″ and was 190lbs at the time so I was never spit on but I was called a baby killer, rapist, and many other names and did not want to put up with the hassle.
People are dying today to retake land in Iraq that Americans bleed for, because Obama made a campaign promise. The politician makes grand speeches, the solider bleeds—-the lesson of my war (56,000 dead) has not yet been learned. I am and will continue to be a Republican but LBJ thought he knew better than the Generals and it troubled me when I heard Trump say that—politicians.
(It has become a tradition in my family to have the kids call me on Veterans Day and I am always asked for a story. I tell the same one each year. The land attack was well into its second hour when I heard our First Sergeant yell out: “They are through the wire. Fix Bayonets”. The faces of the men I helped load on helicopters have blurred, the sound of artillery and the whine of bullets has faded in the fifty years since. And I make light of my time in battle, not wanting to have my kids think Dad is troubled. But still, even at 68, late at night in that second before sleep overtakes me, I sometimes hear as a whisper in the dark bedroom: “They are through the wire. Fix Bayonets”. )