View Full Version : Vietnam to Iraq & Afghanistan-The Public's Persepctive

01-12-2010, 12:41 PM
Last night, I watched (2nd time) Hal Moore's and Joe Galloway's book turned into an award winning film.."We Were Soldiers Once..and Young". Most of you have perhaps seen the film..and or read the book.

At the conclusion of the film, the film shows several soldiers existing into a commercial airport hallway; one pushing the wheelchair of a wounded soldier..the wounded Soldier has a bandaged headband. ( Moore and Galloway have written a followup book entitled.."We Are Still Soldiers"..and excellent read).

How times have changed! Those who returned from Vietnam were cast into the shadow of history almost immediately..many were ashamed to say they served in Vietnam. People generally looked down on our Soldiers..even though, by 1969, most Soldiers were drafted..almost 20,000 per month. Public support for the Vietnam veteran in terms of employment, health and care and generally "yellow ribbon" symbols or parades down the street in small towns across American simple did not happen.

Yet today, our Soldiers are all volunteers in lieu of involuntary draft..all or most have served in Iraq..a war that by most accounts was based on less than factual intelligence..the controversy on this topic remains heated. In Afghanistan, the war there was virtually "forgotten" during 2003 to 2007 due, in part, to the war in Iraq.

Hometown parades, yellow ribbons and "thanks for your service" are a model the American people have very rightly given our Soldiers (emphasis added). The care and support provided our Soldiers has been of the highest caliber.

So, the question to any casual forum reader is: What was the difference between the war in Vietnam claiming 58,230 lives and Iraq and/or Afghanistan in the public perspection of support for our service men and women.

How did this stark difference in perspection of support in the case of Iraq and Afghanistan differ with the thousands of drafted teenagers headed to Vietnam?

Perhaps there is a one sentence logical answer..but, given some thought, I have yet to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion..thoughts or comments.

(Note: The word "Soldiers" refers to US Army, US Marine Corps and the US Air Force and US Navy)

RVN/68-69; Haiti/95;BiH/Croatia' 96-97; HOA/2002;Afgh/2003;Iraq/2005;HOA/2007-08