Sunday, August 04, 2013

Gentle Re-Introduction


How: Blogs begin with the most recent post. So, to begin at the beginning, simply go up to the top of the page that says VIETNAM: MY WAR TOO and click on it. This should take you to the very first and introductory post which will be at the bottom of the page and then work your way up!

Why: I have "worked" on this blog in my head since I was a teenager. Growing up in the 60s was not easy. Not as easy as the media today wants us to believe. It was a tough time mainly because of the many social, global, and civil upheavals. We had all, as the point soldiers of the TV GENERATION had the horrors of war, assassinations and riots brought into our living rooms by a small screen that soon became known as the "Idiot Box".

Being born in 1951 I certainly came into the world during a time of national cohesiveness and prosperity; after all, we were the BABY BOOMERS- the offspring of the GREATEST GENERATIONOur parents and grandparents had won a world war and brought peace to a troubled world. We were the good guys, right?

I understand that the divisions and opposing opinions of our war- the war in Vietnam- still exist in some quarters. My stake in this is personal and very deep. I have suffered in some ways-as have others, I believe, by a level of survivor's guilt. I watched boys my age- yeah, boys- get shipped off to be maimed, crippled, damaged psychologically, imprisoned and tortured and, more often than not, killed. During those days we were "allowed" to watch the planeloads of flag-draped coffins being unloaded at DOVER AIR FORCE BASE. It was gut-wrenching every time.

Meanwhile, there was fighting in the streets as anti-war protests heated up against a war that seemed would never end. Every nightly news broadcast pictures of hurt people- here and in a place half a world away. The constant barrage of photos and films of mutilated bodies, wounded Americans and tortured beings kept playing over and over and over again.

I feel a moral obligation to stand  up for what I believed then and still believe now- going to war should be an action of last resort. Our nation has made some feeble efforts to recognize the men and women who served in Vietnam. Veterans themselves took the first steps to bring attention to the enormous sacrifice of this generation. It has made a feeble effort to recognize those who opposed it; although most of us have simply faded into the background- afraid of the damnation sure to come. Now is OUR time to attempt to reconcile these fractures somehow.

It wasn't until I discovered that returning soldiers were being ignored when needing treatment both physical and psychological that my eyes were opened. That the government would NOT- and adamantly TO THIS DAY refuses to admit AGENT ORANGE and other defoliants and chemicals had seriously sickened so many soldiers that many died of their illnesses without an ounce of prevention or treatment from the government that tried to blame "the rest of us kids" for a lack of "homecoming".

This simple blog is offered in a sincere effort to open a dialog. I know that I am risking a lot. I have already been attacked for my stand on this war. Many times. And I have been attacked overseas for simply being an American citizen!  But when I attended the dedication of the WALL my sole intention was to pay my respects and I went from veteran to veteran and said these simple, heartfelt words to each one I met:

Four Dead in Ohio

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