At age 10 the Vietnam War was in full swing, showing no signs of victory or peace. The evening news in 1970 was often led with the latest word from the war front or news of protests from the rear. For me, all that news usually got in the way of Ramblin’ Rod cartoons and Gilligan. It’s tough to have an accurate world view at that age.
If I was born 8 years earlier, I probably would have joined up. . . patriotic family and all. I recall much of my youth being squandered away shooting my friends with fake assembled AR-10 rifles and cowboy pistols (it was okay back then).
A lot of boys didn’t come home from that war, and like most wars, a lot of men and women who did come home were never the same.
My dad was a high school teacher and football coach. I have on my shelf his 1964 state championship football team picture. On it, there is a handwritten name identifying each player. I should check that with the Vietnam War casualty list. I know some of those football players lost their lives over there.
This is a weekend we choose to remember and honor those that fought and died in our wars. Some choose not to honor soldiers because they feel war is cloaked in dishonor. I do believe that, . . .in this fallen world, there will always be war and war is always an ugly and hellish thing. Those that believe that it can be completely avoided are wrong. At best, it can only be postponed. History has proven that the longer that the can of appeasement is kicked down the road, the greater the end conflict will be. All of those thoughts complicate and can marginalize the virtue of our soldiers and sidetrack us from the fact that some gave all. Let us remember them this weekend and pray for their loved ones left behind.