Pardon my rambling introspection here, but I would just like to note that, while appreciating the service of all veterans past and present, since I see them regularly both in my community and at the Leavenworth, KS VA hospital, I hold a certain respect for veterans of both the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
Both were kind of "forgotten wars" and the veterans returning from them generally did not receive the public respect and accolades heaped on WWII vets. In fact, in the case of the Vietnam veterans, a lot of them were met at airports and spat upon and called "baby killers."
With the Korean War vets, when a lot of them returned to their communities, they were asked, "So, where were you?" "How was your adventure?" People in those times had no idea what these guys had been through. In this day and age, PSTD is a recognized problem. When these guys came back, it wasn't.
I know two certain individuals in my town, one a Vietnam Vet and one a Korean War Vet. Both are basically looked down upon as lower-class members of the community due to their use of alcohol and possibly drugs. I've even heard the Korean war vet ridiculed by his own family because of his alcohol abuse.
The old phrase "Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged" always springs to mind when I think of these guys. People I've heard "badmouth" them have absolutely no comprehension of what these guys went through; what they experienced, what they saw. Maybe their wives have some idea, but I doubt they shared their experience with their kids, friends, acquaintances, etc.
So, not to lessen my appreciation of the veterans of any other wars, but I would like to especially express my appreciation for our veterans of the Korean and Vietnam Wars. They weren't "conflicts" or "police actions," they were wars. Those that were there know that and so do I.
So, when you see one of these guys with the classic black cap with the "scrambled eggs" on the bill showing they're veterans of Vietnam or Korea, shake their hand and thank them.
I would also suggest you check out the "Vietnam In HD" series on The History Channel.
Thank you for reading this. I've expressed my feelings on these two guys I know to members of the community and have been met with blank stares or derision. Even though you guys don't know them, I hope in some way this rambling post at least honors them in some small way. I'll continue to praise them until the day both of them or I cease to exist on this Earth.
Last edited by planalp; 11-12-2011 at 01:24 AM.