Public Broadcasting Offers Difficult Look at Vietnam War

By Davis, Dennis | Sunday Gazette-Mail, September 10, 2017 | Go to article overview

Public Broadcasting Offers Difficult Look at Vietnam War


Davis, Dennis, Sunday Gazette-Mail


The Vietnam Conflict, which, I believe should be called the Vietnam War, ripped at the core of America. It changed us, as individuals and as a country.

The United States lost more than 58,000 members of our armed forces during that war. Hundreds of thousands more service men and women found themselves on front lines fighting in prolonged battles such as the Tet Offensive, Hamburger Hill, the Easter Offensive and many, many more. They came home with bad memories and injuries that would stay with them for the rest of their lives.

They also came home to a country that didn't seem to care or appreciate their sacrifice. No parades, no banners, no yellow ribbons, no speeches, just family and a maybe a few friends.

It is amazing to me that we're a half century past America's involvement in Vietnam. It seems as if those days were just a few years ago. I served in the United States Army during the Vietnam era. In fact, all four boys in our family served in the Army during that time. My term ended before the U.S. became heavily engaged in Southeast Asia. I have two brothers who did serve tours in Vietnam. They are reluctant to talk openly about their experiences, and, quite frankly, we as a family have learned to respect their silence.

Too many lives were lost in Vietnam. Too many of our youth were physically and psychologically injured. Too many soldiers came home carrying inside them the effects of Agent Orange. Many saw things they never expected to see. Many did things they had to do - or were commanded to do. It changed them forever. They suffer to this day with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Others didn't return home physically as they left. Some didn't come home at all.

I'm convinced that many people in America never came to grips with our involvement in Vietnam or the chaos that eventually broke out in our streets and on campuses as opposition to the war grew. Americans were taking sides as the war continued. Violence increased. …

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