As Veterans Day arrives, I think about my military service (USAF 1971-1975), which was during the United States’ involvement in Vietnam (1965-1973).
During that period, over 58,000 U.S. men and women were killed. At the war’s height, over 580,000 troops were stationed there at one time. The Vietnam War was not popular in the United States, and there were many protests. American soldiers were not well thought of when they returned from being deployed. Some were even asked to change into civilian clothes to avoid being harassed.
I did not face these indignities and came back from Southeast Asia (Thailand) to a loving wife, son and family. Overall the men and women who served during that era were met with indifference for serving their country.
The best thing we can do when we meet a Vietnam era veteran is say four simple words: “Thank you for serving.”