|"The war was useless, and the returning vets were treated like garbage. When I left active duty, and wore my uniform home, I was called a baby killer at O’Hare."|
My brother experienced the same thing when he came home. I remember when we picked him up at JFK - there were no crowds clapping for the soldiers coming off the plane. I don't recall if there were any rude comments - I was focused on finally having my brother back in one piece. He was angry for a long time after that - about the way he was treated as a returning vet as if what he did was wrong. It took a couple of years but he got his life together - a successful career, a family, five grandchildren - but he won't talk about the war and what he experienced.
What I do know was that he was Air Force and served in Danang, which I guess had a US airbase at that time. The troops called it "Happy Valley". He told me in letters at the time that the base was under Viet Cong rocket attacks on a regular basis, and had lost several friends. After a while, the letters stopped being specific about what was going on.
Of course, now the pendulum has swung in the other direction and Vietnam vets are now being celebrated. Better late than never, I guess. I don't want to make this discussion partisan - there were faults on both sides of the aisle.
"I would still like to thank your brother for his service. Don't know what his MOS was, but tell him a 13Alpha has his respect, and still has his back. He will understand."
Thanks, Rich - I don't speak military and have no clue what that means, but your respect is appreciated.