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Remembering Vietnam in Words and Pictures

Updated on October 25, 2011

We remember the Vietnam War era..."What was it all about, Alfie?" What was the Vietnam war about? The Vietnam War took over 58,000 American lives and 350,000 American casualties, leaving many hundreds of thousands of American men permanently damaged, in one way or another. The Vietnam War cost the American taxpayers over 2.5 billion dollars. The Vietnam War was not only the longest war in American history (1958-1975), it was the most UNPOPULAR war in American history. The Vietman War cost over 2 million Vietnamese deaths. Those people would have been so much better off had we not attempted to intervene.

And, for all that, war was never declared in Vietnam. All those men, drafted, sent to an extremely foreign country, to give up their lives or become permanently damaged, for what?

Back home people were burning draft cards, burning bras, chanting, "Hell, no, we won't go!"

Back home, people were saying that those "peacekeeping missions" were a joke--going in with guns and tanks to keep the peace was like fu**ing for chastity. The number of "Military Advisors" in Vietman escalated from 2000 in 1958 to 16,000 in 1963, and by 1965, we had ground forces numbering 536,000 American soldiers in Vietnam. We all SHOULD remember the Vietnam War, as an example of what NOT to do!

Part of the original purpose of the Vietnam war was to halt the spread of Communism. It was during the Cold War era, when this whole Vietnam thing began. Vietnam was divided between an anti-Communist South and a Communist North, and we, the United States of America, were obviously on the side of the anti-Communist South. We were competing heavily with the Soviet Union, in the space race, and in armaments and nuclear weapons. Each side was afraid of the other side's tendency towards aggressive domination of countries outside their immediate domain. Each side was also afraid of the escalation of the cold war into a hot war: World War III. Neither side wanted a nuclear war; both sides realized what a disaster a nuclear war could be, world-wide, and that the fallout could render the entire planet uninhabitable for most kinds of life and most certainly for human life.

The Soviet's domination of foreign territories was primarily military; the American domination of foreign territories was primarily economic.

Was the Vietnam war an enormous blunder into the limits of conventional warfare in jungle terrain? Was the Vietnam war a terrible crime committed by power-hungry leaders with no real cause to interfere in a country that eventually resolved its own issues, after the fall of Saigon in April 1975 and the withdrawal of American troops altogether, and ended up unified under a Communist regime?

Or was it a noble, heroic attempt to protect the South Vietnamese from a totalitarian government, like Russia's?

I feel the Vietnam war was a big mistake on the part of the American government.

I feel for the Vietnam veterans that returned from that war to face re-entry into an American society that didn't seem to appreciate them, in the least. There were no parades for the returning heroes of the Vietnam war.

And who knows what those people had seen, what they went through, what that awful guerrilla war was like? Who knows what it was like to be in the field, out in the jungle with Charlie hiding behind every bush and hidden trip wires for grenades on the ground and pungee sticks taking off the legs of your comrades in arms, and know, in the back of your mind, that your side is losing but just won't admit it; just keeps sending more troops and tanks and helicopters and sprays Agent Orange all over the place; in the meantime, the American body count is rising and the American casualties are coming back home in pieces, either mentally or physically broken, often beyond repair.

I have one thing to say to you, soldier:

GOD BLESS YOU, SOLDIER

and

LET'S NEVER DO THAT AGAIN!

NOT anywhere, not in Iraq, Iran, the Middle East, Afghanistan, not anywhere.

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    • Paradise7 profile image
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      Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks for the comment, Pearldiver, and I understand. It's a shame.

    • Pearldiver profile image

      Rob Welsh 5 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

      Nicely done work and just long enough to raise the anger that many of us feel not-so-deep-down about political blunders, arrogance and incompetence, that killed and broke so many fine young men and women. Thank you for this P7.. I hope you will do more on this war.

      Our Anzac troops fought there also and all were exposed to defoliants and napalm. Wars are always an opportunity to trial new weapons and methods of slaughter.. Barry McGuire said it.. almost as well as the Vets.. we haven't learned yet have we? Kudos my friend. Take care.

    • Paradise7 profile image
      Author

      Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks for the comment, ahorseback.

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 5 years ago

      How did I miss this one ?!? , awesome , we must be forever vigilant for our soldiers! Our vets , They deserve nothing but our best try!......^^^

    • Paradise7 profile image
      Author

      Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you so much, epigramman. You are a treasure. You write the most and best hubs of just about anyone, myself included, and you are so generous in your appreciation of others.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago

      ..well if you get a veteran to approve and endorse this hub then you know you have done your homework - and my dad would have loved this subject too - he was a veteran of World War II as a Canadian soldier for six years - and I still say you have the best hubs around when you tackle history, culture and social issues and you are in good company with the likes of HELLO HELLO, DRBJ, RADIO GUY and others - I appreciate the amount of time and expertise you put into your hubs - and just allow me to post this to my Facebook page with a direct link back here - I want the entire world to know how good you are at doing this ......

    • Paradise7 profile image
      Author

      Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you, Chat Kath, I remember those marches myself. I wonder, did they do any good?

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from California

      Great hub Paridise7, I remember it well, and all the peace marches we would attend with my friend's mom, what an awful destructive mistake, of course I didn't learn the real facts until much later. Rated up and awesome!

    • Paradise7 profile image
      Author

      Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you all so very much for your comments. The tone of the comments seems to agree--war is a waste, a crime, a brutal mistake.

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 6 years ago from Virginia

      Well researched hub, very well written with great interesting information. Although some of it is very disturbing....like 2 million Vietnamese deaths....nobody seems to ever talk about that...voted up

    • Laura du Toit profile image

      Laura du Toit 6 years ago from South Africa

      How can any war be justified? It's nothing short of mass murder, it's barbaric and there are too many losers and too few winners. Thanks for the great hub Paradise - let's hope that the powers that be can resolve conflict in a civilised manner in the years to come.

    • PRAVIN VAGHANI profile image

      PRAVIN VAGHANI 6 years ago from 3101 KEW AUSTRALIA

      Quite interesting and informative hubarticle. Yes, the Vietnam war was a mistake. And so are the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. People just don't learn anything from the history. War doesn't solve the problem and there is no winner. On the contrary it creates more problems. In this era, money is power and power makes people and countries corrupt minded and unreasonable.

    • GNelson profile image

      GNelson 6 years ago from Florida

      It was like you wrote. If Bush had done his duty like the rest of us he would have learned about war and Iran would have never happened. Good hub!

    • Paradise7 profile image
      Author

      Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you, prasetio and scarytaff, for your comments.

      "What a complete waste of lives, resources and credibility"--I couldn't put it better, myself.

    • scarytaff profile image

      Derek James 6 years ago from South Wales

      Another great hub No.7. Everything you said was quite true. What a complete waste of lives, resources and credibility.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Nice information. Thanks for writing this and share with us. I love all pictures here. You have done a good job here. Rated up!

      Prasetio:)

    • Paradise7 profile image
      Author

      Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you for the comment, marellen. I hope the vets know we don't blame them for going--they had to. I think they were heroes, I'd be scared to death to go to the jungle.

    • profile image

      marellen 6 years ago

      Yes, I agree the vietnam war was a huge mistake and I really felt for the vets who fought the war and came home to bitter and angry people. I would like to say thanks to all our vets for their service. Great hub and voted up...

    • Paradise7 profile image
      Author

      Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you for that comment, Vietnam Vet, and God bless you, sincerely from the bottom of my heart.

      Thank you for the comment, Spirit Whisperer. I don't understand it, either. Most of the American people are very confused about our foreign policies. The press is deliberately confusing, or has their own political agenda.

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 6 years ago from Isle of Man

      A brilliant hub and the videos really bring it to life. I can't understand how a country that boasts about democracy and freedom continues to attack and suppress so many countries under the guise of "saving" them. America never attacks unless there is financial reward. I feel sad for the young men and women who keep trusting such a morally corrupt administattion.

    • vietnamvet68 profile image

      vietnamvet68 6 years ago from New York State

      A Beautifully written hub and so true, I remember myself coming home in Jun 1969 walking downtown in my uniform and people spitting at me, there was no parade or welcome home. But our Government never learns its lessons. Thanks for the piece.

      God Bless

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