First of all, I am not an expert on the Vietnam war, nor do I pretend to understand wartime military strategy. I was born in 1970, so about all I remember of the Vietnam war was watching the footage of the helicopters lifting off the roof of the U. S. Embassy in Saigon for the final time, and that my parents were relieved that the war was finally over.
All I know is that war is typically a means to an end – and usually a political end. Soldiers are sent to fight battles by their supreme commanding officer, sometime very far away and sometimes for no plausible reasons at all. Some are killed in these battles and many are injured. Things are destroyed, and money from the treasury is spent on the build-up, on conducting of the war and moving troops and equipment and on rebuilding after the war.
Veterans return home in anticipation of their countrymen’s appreciation and support–a hero’s welcome, as they say. They usually get it, except for one time, after Vietnam. And, I don’t know if I’ll ever understand why some of the people of this country said and did hateful things to veterans returning from that particular war. Veterans of Vietnam were sadly mistreated after a cause that was muddled as the war grinded on, more American soldiers were killed and politicians were swapped in and out. They deserved better.
Remember all veterans this coming Tuesday. All paid some sort of price for fighting for our freedom. Show your appreciation to them!