"Wow - lease we forget. And we all do. The best and brightest of us 40 to 50 years ago that either voluntarily or otherwise, went far away to protect freedom."
Wow - lease we forget. And we all do. The best and brightest of us 40 to 50 years ago that either voluntarily or otherwise, went far away to protect freedom. But that was so yesterday. The history books are portraying these brave souls as ones who were nothing but dopers, draft dodgers, or losers. And that is so far from the truth it is not even funny.
I have addressed this before when I have talked about the forgotten vets among us. But this this a different part of the forgotten. It is the quality of some of the young men who served back then. Even if a young man went to college right after high school, maintained a 2S deferment (for being a student), once that young man graduated, there went the 2S. And then many either enlisted or were drafted.
How do I know that? When I was going to Navy cryptography school in 1969, a sizable portion of my class who were enlisted, had college degrees. Many had degrees more complex than the officers they served under. I had only a year and a half of college before I enlisted. With that, I was one of the least educated men in my class.
Most all of us in my cryptography class knew of young men who went to Viet Nam. Many of those did time in Viet Nam were also educated and of good character. In Viet Nam, our brave young men became involved in our first asymmetrical war. In other words, it was often hard to know who exactly the enemy was. The soldiers were also exposed to an enemy which had nothing to do with being shot at. I am talking about Agent Orange. Many became sick when they came home. Some died. The toll this highly toxic herbicide took on our brave troops remains incalculable, even to this day.
I have said this many times before. I honor all veterans. Every conflict, hot or cold. Maybe it is my age, maybe it is because I lived during that time. Viet Nam was a turning point in our country. It was a turning point with our military.
Viet Nam impacted a young Army officer named Colin Powell. That young officer went on to become the head of the Army by 1991. He lead the strategy for the first Gulf War. He came up with the now famous Powell Doctrine. Win with overwhelming force. Where did that strategy come from? Powell's experience in Viet Nam. Seeing how a politically driven, incremental war was fought. That did not work well with warfare in the 60's and 70's. General Powell definitely learned that history, and in the Gulf War led our troops to a total victory in about 100 hours.
Viet Nam vets. Many do not want anything any more special than other vets have. That is except for one thing. They don't want to be forgotten. And I will add this part also - they don't want to be marginalized. How Viet Nam was fought, the hazards they faced on a daily basis was not of their choosing or design. They just went over there and did what they had to do, with the best of their ability.
I honor their service. Their bravery, Their sacrifice. Many now are gone, but not forgotten by myself and others. They were good men, fine men. For whom do the bells toll? For thee brave brothers, for thee.