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Memorial Day thoughts

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A friend posted this photo/print on her Facebook site and I, in turn, shared it. As noted on my post, I first saw this photo about 15 years ago in a gallery in Spokane,  It took my breath away instantly and I was immediately in tears.  One day I will own it.

I went out to the site where the photo was originally posted and read some of the comments.  Among the wonderful comments about thanking the poster and others for their service and mentioning that more needs to be done to thank the Viet Nam vets along with the current war vets, was a comment that really got my hackles up.  The poster wrote:

“u want to make up for it, start by jailing Obama for treason and then executing him…his following politicians would play the game differently if they saw there are consequences to their folley” (misspellings left intact)

I cannot begin to relay how tired I am of the bashing of our President.  There are so many people in other countries that do not understand how we can be so disrespectful of our President.  When comments like this were made in the press/public realm, about President Bush, it was considered treason.

 

My thoughts about that post are as follows:

Calling for the death of any President is just ignorant.

President Obama was not in any office when the Viet Nam war was started, going on, concluded.  He was not responsible for it in any way shape or form.

To say that his not specifically saying thank you to those who served in Viet Nam and not “making it up” to the veteranis a reason to jail and execute someone, then we have to build more jails and execution facilities because he is not the only one who may not have acknowledged it.  The affront being attributed to President Obama is shared by MANY members of the House and Senate.  I don’t see anything being done to right they wrong by the very bodies of government who are tasked with these things.  In fact one candidate for Present – Ted Cruz- made the asinine suggestion that veterans  should sell cookies, like the girl scouts, to earn money to take care of their medical conditions!

I am a military brat.  Proud military brat.  I was also once in the service, but didn’t make it out of basic training.  Short story – medical reasons that have been since righted.  My father and both brothers served in the Viet Nam war. My oldest brother did at least two tours.  During his second tour my father was also stationed “in country”  a few hundred miles away from my oldest brother.  I was just 12 when my father went and I recall not really understanding the conflict, but being very scared for their safety and hoping for them to come home safely.  I watched the news and I saw the protests.  I didn’t entirely understand them either.  I just knew at least two of my family members were in harm’s way.

All my life I would hear my father’s “war stories”.  He served his country in peace time and in time of war.  He was in the Army Air Corp before the Air Force was created and he served in the Korean War.  But neither my father or my siblings ever told stories of their time in Viet Nam with only one exception.  My father talked about this little black and white 9″ TV he brought back with him and how he would lay on the floor, under the bed, with the TV on while they were under fire and try to drown out the sounds of the explosions with a TV and a bottle of scotch.  The only inkling of how service in Viet Nam affected my oldest brother was an incident during a trip to Disneyland when I was about 14.  We had been right at the entrance to Sleeping Beauty’s castle when he apparently heard the launch of the fireworks.  He grabbed me and threw me into the foyer of the Castle and laid on me shouting “get down, get down, get down”.  After a few moments he got up, and walked away.  I didn’t know what had happened until I was 17 and my parents and I had visited my brother for Christmas and both he related this incident to my dad during a random conversation.

I firmly believe that veterans of ANY conflict, and especially those who fought in Viet Nam, deserve thanks for their service. Many many men went to war in a foreign country between 1955 and 1975. 58,303 men gave their lives for this country, 303,644 were wounded during the 19 1/2 year conflict. Many of the soldiers who served were drafted and thus forced into service. These men served despite being forced to. A majority of the servicemen who survived the war returned home not to the hero’s welcomes of the WWII and Korean War era, or even the welcome’s our current soldiers receive. They were called “Baby Killers” and spit on. Many speak of getting their bags and running to the restrooms to change to avoid the horrendous treatment they received. It’s deplorable.

 

 

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