So it’s the 4th. Play Bruce’s “Born In The USA,” to celebrate, although that’s a song about those dealing with the aftermath of a conflict in which the world was engaged in post WWII until the mid-70’s.
I ran into 2 Vietnam Veterans the past three days. I guess I benefited from the time period I served in the Air Force. My father, not so much. Vietnam was a very controversial war, one that affected so many lives in a permanent way. Hindsight, being what it is, reveals the reason for that war’s unpopularity and divisiveness. What happened when we left and Saigon fell? Did all the other countries fall like dominoes until the whole free world was communist? Didn’t quite turn out that way did it.
During my time of service I’ve had people hurry across a parking lot of a Costco in the pouring rain to thank me for my service in Boise. Random strangers buying our whole table of peeps lunch, breakfast, dinner in places like San Antonio, Austin, and Boise. The populace is appreciative on the whole of our all-volunteer opt-in people who serve in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq…. and their nearby countries and those who fought the conflicts stateside.
In war, people die. Seems to be a self-evident truth. This is why the decision-makers should take a long hard look, maybe try a little diplomacy and all, before committing people to a war or conflict. Because the long-term impact of that decision can be devastating.
The gentleman I talked to just this morning was with a Navy Seabee unit (combat engineers) but as station security…. at Da Nang. I know what those things infer as to the nature of his service. Two tours. I thanked him. He acted a bit surprised. My guess is he doesn’t get that often. Thank a vet today or reach out to someone who survived a conflict…. but see if you can find someone in the next few months that not only served in Vietnam but maybe was a family member of someone who served, or was on the ground in that country and survived it. War and that decision should not be taken lightly. Just like how Iraq has turned out with its implications on Syria…make wise choices, because either way there will be a whole lot of suffering.
Gratitude for those who have served and those who have suffered war and conflict. Don’t assume even a Vietnam Vet has PTSD, nor those from Iraq, Afghanistan, or Syria.
America… but not American right or wrong. An honoring of service and suffering.
A good thing.