I hope that this country never goes back to the anti-military nation that it was during the Vietnam Era. I served during that time, and I'll be the first to tell you that it was not a fun thing to have done back then. The senior military, usually the people that were above Buck Sergeant and over 30 years old were basically for the War. If they had reservations about it (which I'm sure they must have had) they kept it to themselves. The younger GIs that were drafted and were for the most part against the war represented everything that the older, more conservative career military man hated. Being in the service (any branch) during the Vietnam War was to live life as a pariah, to live in a 24-hour double bind. Your superiors hated you because you represented the youth of the nation that was almost unanimously against the war and the military, and to the civilians, you were the military they despised. You were clobbered when you were on duty, and you were clobbered off duty. This rolled up with the expectation that you should give your life willingly for the very people that hated you was a hard and painful way to live. It is no wonder that when a member of the military came back from Southeast Asia with all the brutality and carnage that they witnessed, and the memories of dead buddies that didn't complete their tours, that they came home different.Some came home with that thousand yard stare, some came home and didn't want to talk about it, 56,000 didn't come home at all. Twenty-four hours earlier they had been on a perimeter of a firebase, with the red mud caked on their boots.Listening to the shout of "incoming!" Then, suddenly, they were at an airport out side of San Francisco watching a group of guys and girls in their teens calling them baby killers and flipping them off.
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