Years ago I feared that many of us learned the wrong lessons from Vietnam, or if we learned the right ones, we weren’t applying what we’d learned. This was a bit more important in the earlier days of our involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq. So I wrote about one of the lessons we needed to improve on: Honoring the people who serve, regardless our view on the entire engagement.
Someday, perhaps when I’m wiser, I’ll get back to that series on the lessons of Vietnam.
A lot of water flowed under the bridge since then. A lot of blood flowed, too.
We did better with our two latest engagements, as a nation, in honoring soldiers. For just one example, DFW Airport set up a special lounge for soldiers returning stateside, and dozens of organizations set up programs to get people out to welcome the soldiers from Iraq with an indoor parade of sorts — Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, groups of retired veterans and other citizens, school social studies classes, and many more.
That still leaves us with the scab of our treatment of veterans from Vietnam. It’s been good to see cities and organizations make serious efforts to remember them specifically, as well as veterans of Korea-“The-Forgotten-War,” with soldiers and veterans of the modern conflicts. There is more we need to do, I’m sure.
I ran into this short video from Moments.org. I don’t know about the rest of that organization’s ministries, but this video got it right:
So, Wes, McClain, Kevin, Ben, Brenda, Steve, Pat, Al, Ken, Ray, David, Jeff and Jon, and all the rest of you who served, especially in or during Vietnam, consider this as one for you.
Tip of the old scrub brush to cmblake6, who probably won’t ever get another one here. Happily surprised to find something right over there.
- Letter: Honor veterans of the Vietnam War (knoxnews.com)
- Fallen Vietnam La. soldiers honored with new memorial (wwltv.com)
- Obama welcomes home veterans from Vietnam (mysanantonio.com)
- Aurora veteran organizing statewide welcome home for soldiers (kdvr.com)
- Obama: U.S. wronged Vietnam vets (politico.com)
- Daughter solves mystery of pilot’s Vietnam death – CBS News (cbsnews.com)
- Also at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub: “Popular idea, honor the soldiers, sailors and airmen”
- “Let Xerox help you thank a soldier”
- “Lessons of Vietnam, according to David Petraeus“
- Armed Forces Day posts, posts for and about Veterans Day, posts for and about Memorial Day