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     Our Vietnam Generation      

The thing those of us who've been to Vietnam know is that you can't tell us what it was like to be there. Hearing people talk about what it was like to be in Vietnam pains us. Many times it makes us angry. Put simply, we don't want to hear public talk about the Vietnam War, especially from those that didn't serve, and double especially from those that ducked the war. What we also don't want to hear is talk from those sorry souls that still wear their old Army jacket, sport long hair that should be cut, and walk around talking about what it was like to be a soldier in Vietnam. Those memories are too precious to be being bandied about like small talk.

We also don't want to hear people tell us who we were as a generation, or what we felt, or why we felt it, or what motivated us, or what our values were. It enrages us to hear people pontificate about why the protestors protested, what those who were drafted felt, how most of the fighting and dying was done by, for example, poor blacks that were drafted, or, for that matter, almost anything else having to do with that time in our lives.

Why do we take such offense at talk of Vietnam? Because those who do the talking usually don't have a clue what they are talking about. They're talking to hear themselves talk. They're telling tales to make themselves feel better about who they are, and usually those tales are false. Those who were really in Vietnam don't talk about their experiences. They carry their thoughts with them, in their head. Only rarely do they tell of their memories... and then only to those they trust. They certainly don't talk about it in public.

Take the comment we made earlier about poor drafted blacks doing the fighting and dying... this is the kind of talk that makes us recoil and flash with anger. It's not the issue of black versus white that bothers us, it's the stupidity of someone talking about who fights in wars, when they don't know anything about how the Army works, how training is done or how military specialties are assigned. If they did, they would know that most draftees end up in the rear, doing administrative work, not combat. During the Vietnam War 66% of the people who were sent to that country to serve were volunteers, not draftees. 70% of those who lost their lives were volunteers... again, they asked for the chance to fight in that war... they were not drafted. And for the record: 86.3% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasian (including Hispanics); 12.5% (7,241) were black; with 1.2% belonging to other races.

You see, the problem we have with those who go on and on about Vietnam is that their opinions are usually based on ignorance, the kind of ignorance that caused them to run to Canada in the first place, or use their connections to avoid the draft, or burn their draft card as though doing so was going to do some good.

People like that, when they were young and protesting the war, were nothing more than opinionated no-nothings... but still, even as no-nothings, they had the fascination and attention of the press... and so they got the publicity. Think about it: it was much easier to film some pimple faced kid at Columbia University telling the world what was wrong with war than to get on an airplane, find your way to Vietnam, and spend the night with an 11B infantryman on a Search and Destroy mission along the Cambodian border... so that you could get his opinion about America, the draft and the war he was fighting. And so the no-nothings got coverage that they shouldn't have. And with the lenses of the media on their pimpled faces and drug addled brains they marched and sang... protesting so that they could hear their own noise and think that they mattered. Protesting for little purpose other than to hear themselves talk. Little did they know that those they were protesting to bring home were quite content and happy to be where they were... fighting in Vietnam.

If one looks at them closely it becomes crystal clear, those who were doing the protesting were doing so for selfish reasons. They protested to avoid the draft, to avoid leaving the good life they had, and if the truth be known, to avoid having to cut the apron strings that tied them to mommy... who coddled them with warmth, comfort, security, an allowance, and a bedroom to sleep in... where she made the bed every day.

Now, so many years later, these losers are back again... trying to reassure themselves with twisted justification that the choices they made so long ago to turn their back on their country were the right choices. Now we see them again, coming out of the woodwork, writing books and articles and publishing movies presuming to tell the world what to think of the Vietnam War.

As though they have a clue.

For those of us who were there, the pain is still too real to have ignoramuses like these dare to define for us what that period in America's history was like. The wounds of a country having turned its back on us are still too raw for anyone—anyone who didn't serve in that war—to tell us what we should all learn from Vietnam.

Keep your opinions to yourself. You have not yet earned the right to define or explain the America of those days to us.

Having said all that, the following video attempts to do just that. From our perspective, it hurts to watch it. Most of the comments are balanced, but still, on occasion, something is said, or a picture is shown, that touches a raw nerve; comments are made that ignite a spark of anger.

Watch it if you can. If you can't, just turn it off and get another beer.


 -- Length 00:13:41 --

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