Thursday, November 02, 2006

Todays Soldiers/Tomorrows Vet's


Today I was riding the "L" into downtown, I was people watching as I always do, observing the faces and making assessments. One of the people who caught my eye was an older man wearing a beret with Vietnam veteran pins all over it. I can't exactly put my finger on it but something always stands out about a veteran, specifically Vietnam vet's, they have a look of pain and a life's path gone astray. Maybe I'm being an idealist but it always strikes me as sad they seem so tragically forgotten. I try to put myself in their shoes and imagine what they have seen, what they have done and it terrifies me.

Coincidentally there was another veteran on the train an amputee wearing army fatigues, sitting in a wheel chair. 40 years from now, will these be our Iraq vet's, these poor young men now aged who gave up their innocence and limbs for my "freedom". It brings you back to reality and puts a face on the conflict, there are men dying over there having their legs blown off, making the ultimate sacrifice but for what? You could always draw positive reasons for a war, some how some way but does the cause truly justify their sacrifice? I'm not so sure it does.

6 Comments:

At 10:30 AM, Blogger dick said...

Well said.

I think that combat veterans are the best and most noble among us. We need to honor them.

Sadly, nowadays, respect for our soldiers has become linked to political agendas. In the case of vietnam and iraq, lefty political agendas. That's how kerry gets to talk about 'uneducated' troops, 'terrorizing women and children'; murtha refers to 'murdering in cold blood', kennedy talks about abu ghraib being 'reopened under new management', etc. etc. and, sadly, etc. And that's how vietnam vets get to be treated like dirt.

The cause doesn't matter, when it comes to the troops. They are fighting on our behalf, even if 'we' chose the wrong cause.

They are our heros.

 
At 11:06 AM, Blogger Egypeter said...

Ditto dick.

As far as I'm concerned the way Americans treated returning soldiers from Vietnam is ONE OF THE GREATEST tragedies in American history. Ever. Period. Soldiers going into bars and being spit on by hippies and being called "baby killers" is a mental picture that I find appalling.

It's assholes like John Kerry that helped perpetuate that idea back in Vietnam AND he's doing it again in Iraq. The soldiers and commanders didn't lose the war in Vietnam, it was the lousy politicians that were running our contry who didn't have the will to defeat the enemy. It's the left-wingers that use our soldiers' sacrifices on the battle field for political gains. They did it back in the 60's and they're doing it again.

Our soldiers are some of the most honorable Americans and they desrve all of our respect and gratitude. And they sure as hell have mine!

 
At 2:11 PM, Blogger Miss Carnivorous said...

Studies have proven that most Vietnam vets were highly successful after the war. Vets and beauty pageant contestants. The discipline they gained in the military helped them in their daily lives. Look at John McCain, tortured even, but very, very well adjusted. There is a good video on PBS about Iraq War veterens who have suffered horrifc facial injuries. The guy they profile couldn't be more normal considering he has no face left. There is a guy that wrote a book saying that the majority of homeless guys claiming to be vets are lying. You can tell. Many homeless guys are homeless because they don't like anyone to tell them what to do which is why they don't have jobs. Such men would never have made it in the military. Besides I do not want men to think that war is a peice of cake. It should leave trauma and stress or we would be machines and not humans.

 
At 2:29 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Those guys are more likely to be aging hippies than Vietnam vets, in my opinion. I've never yet met a Vietnam vet who wore his old uniforms from 1968 or whatever. The peace sign on the one guys shirt and the ankh on the other guys hat is suspicious as well - I associate both of those with the drug culture of the 1970s, not with the military. Also, both of these guys have tricked themselves out with stuff they got at the surplus store that wasn't even issued during the Vietnam era :)

I agree with Miss Carnivorous... when I joined the Marines, most of the sergeants and above, and Captains and above, were Vietnam Vets. I've worked with a number of Vietnam Vets over the years since I got out of the Marines. Most of them are pretty squared away. And I've never met a guy who dressed in old Army uniforms every day who was actually in the service at all... it doesn't take long for somebody who spent 6 years on active duty to spot an imposter... one or two questions is all it takes.

I wouldn't normally comment on fake Vietnam Vets, but in this case - since we're talking about them being treated like dirt when they got back from Vietnam - there's a pretty good chance the two guys pictured here were draft dodging dopers who were treating Vietnam Vets like dirt back in the early 1970s.

 
At 7:30 PM, Anonymous d.b. admirer said...

OT - d.b. would you educate us about how to spot an American terrorist for your next blog entry? Thanks very much. :)

 
At 12:39 PM, Blogger Miss Carnivorous said...

Programmer Craig is right. No Vietnam vet I know even wants to talk about Vietnam, much less does he wear all his medals and pins. My stepdad gave me all his stuff. I have his pins and his dog tags. He and his buddies never talked about Vietnam except maybe in private to each other.

 

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