This letter was received via email, and the messageis a great one.
Please send this to all Vietnam Veterans that youknow…
A guy gets time to thinkover here and I was thinking about all the support we get from home. Sometimesit’s overwhelming. We get care packages at times faster than we can use them.There are boxes and boxes of toiletries and snacks lining the center of everytent; the generosity has been amazing. So, I was pondering the question:”Why do we have so much support?”
In my opinion, it all camedown to one thing: Vietnam Veterans. I think we learned a lesson, as a nation,that no matter what, you have to support the troops who are on the line, whoare risking everything. We treated them so poorly back then. When they returnedwas even worse. The stories are nightmarish of what our returning warriors weresubjected to. It is a national scar, a blemish on our country, an embarrassmentto of us.
After Vietnam, it had time to sink in.The guilt in our collective consciousness grew. It shamed us. However, welearned from our mistake. Somewhere during the late 1970’s and on into the80’s, we realized that we can’t treat our warriors that way. So … Startingduring the Gulf War, when the first real opportunity arose to stand up andsupport the troops, we did. We did it to support our friends and family goingoff to war. But we also did it to right the wrongs from the Vietnam era. Not the wrongs of thesoldiers but of those that treated them so badly. We treat our troops of todaylike the heroes they were, and are, acknowledge and celebrate their sacrifice,and rejoice at their homecoming … Instead of spitting on them.
And that support continuestoday for those of us in Our country knows that it must support us and it does. The lesson was learnedin Vietnamand we are all better because of it.
Everyone who has gone beforeis a hero. They are celebrated in my heart. I think admirably of all those whohave gone before me. From those who fought to establish this country in thelate 1770’s to those I serve with here in Iraq. They have all sacrificed toensure our freedom. But when I get back home, I’m going to make it a personalmission to specifically thank every Vietnam Vet I encounter for THEIRsacrifice. Because if nothing else good came from that terrible war, one thingdid. It was the lesson learned on how we treat our warriors. We as a countrylearned from our mistake and now we treat our warriors as heroes, as we shouldhave all along. I am the beneficiary of their sacrifice. Not only for thefreedom they, like veterans from other wars, ensured, but for how well ourcountry now treats my fellow Marines and I. We are the beneficiaries of their sacrifice.