My dad was a paratrooper in World War II, who spent most of the last months of the war languishing in a German POW camp. (I told part of his story in The Greatest Story Never Told.) I remember him being disturbed at the way soldiers returning from Vietnam were treated. I don’t remember his opinions on whether that war was “justified” or not. I just know he thought it shameful that people would disrespect those people, who had already gone through so much hell, and that he was determined I not have to go.
Several recent conflicts have been compared to Vietnam, mostly in terms of quagmire. I tend to agree that our political leaders have involved us in the kind of foreign entanglements George Washington warned us against, a warning we have pretty much ignored. But I am glad that, as a country, we have seemed to recognize the difference between protesting a given war and marginalizing those who simply serve the nation.
You don’t have to agree with the politicians to support the troops. Continue reading