Sunday, May 29, 2011

Why I Love the Vietnam Vet

I have the utmost respect, admiration and gratitude for all veterans of all our armed services.  But I've always had a special affinity for the Vietnam-era veteran.  And not just because I'm the proud son of the one pictured above.  I feel a special duty to try to make up for the honor and recognition they deserve but were denied for so long, to make sure as many Vietnam vets as possible know they are appreciated.

Vietnam-era veterans, following the example of their fathers and grandfathers, stepped up when their nation called, and wrote a blank check for an amount up to and including their very lives.  They fought with every bit as much determination, valor and love for their brothers as did their fathers in the Greatest Generation, even as they were maligned and mistreated by a nation that lost its way.  Don't believe me?  Read the citations of Medals of Honor awarded for gallantry in Vietnam.

While so many others their age at home turned to chemically fueled self-indulgence, exhibitionism and apathy, our Vietnam warriors looked outward in dedication and sacrifice.  While many of the ones who were fortunate enough to return came home broken in body and spirit, and were spit on and abused, in years to come a conscience-stricken nation vowed to never again let its warriors be so mistreated.  Our current fighters reap the benefit of this and of the example of honor set by their fathers and grandfathers of the Vietnam generation.  And unlike their tormentors, Vietnam veterans can now walk with their heads held high, knowing that whatever was lost by the press and politicians, they won their war, outfighting a skilled and determined enemy, and did so with consummate skill, courage and honor. 

Thank you, Vietnam veterans.


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