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Old 12-28-2011, 11:01 PM
 
915 posts, read 1,771,634 times
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First, most people who join the military don't join out of patriotism but because they need a change in their life, or they want the cameraderie, or their out of work, or its a way to get out of their home town, and probably many other reasons. But the reason we must thank vets is because no matter what the reason for their going in the military they served their country. They put their time in for what they believed was a just cause even if politicians sent them off to a war that wasn't in our interests. They carry the experience of being in the heart of the country with them throughout their whole lives. It was terrible the way vietnam vets were treated when they came back home. Many were rejected and became homeless and many died on the streets. Those were people who served the heart of their country. But it wasn't just vietnam vets it was any vet of that period was treated the same disgusting way. There is much more that can be said but words are hard to come by to explain something that has deep ties to their country.
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:32 AM
 
Location: Wyoming
8,597 posts, read 15,174,196 times
Reputation: 11977
Most Nam vets didn't have much choice. They could get drafted, enlist or:
1. stay in college until finished, then go
2. get married and have kids, earning a deferment
3. tuck tail and sneak off to Canada

I was from that era. I thought draft dodgers were lily-livered scum of the earth. 1 and 2 were only slightly better, but I couldn't have lived with myself knowing friends and relatives were fighting and I was too chicken/selfish to do my part.

That was a time (mid-60s) when we still pretty much trusted our political leaders. If they said we were needed to defend democracy, most of us believed them. (Remember JFK's inauguration speech, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what can you do for your country.")

For most of us it wasn't because we needed jobs or camaraderie; it was simply because we had no honorable alternative. I was in college when my draft number came up. I could have stayed in college as some of my friends did, but I'd have felt guilty. To me and many like me, military duty was just something that you HAD to do if the country was at war.

I remember praying from the time I was 8 until 18 that I'd never have to go to war, as my older cousins did with Korea, but there it was.
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
16,061 posts, read 18,944,237 times
Reputation: 8116
In North Philadelphia, where I lived, the only good jobs were in the factories and they would not touch you until you had completed your military service. College or the Reserves were for the rich.
Most pushed up their draft, those who could went Air Force or Navy, I joined the Army a month after my 17th Birthday and finished High School in the Army.

As for a welcome home after Vietnam, there was no parade but I did get hired by a Police Department and every member of my class was a returning vet.
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:39 AM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
23,003 posts, read 35,218,851 times
Reputation: 26691
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angorlee View Post
First, most people who join the military don't join out of patriotism but because they need a change in their life, or they want the cameraderie, or their out of work, or its a way to get out of their home town, and probably many other reasons.
I was drafted... Then made it a career, then retired... I would probably do it again.


Rich
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:13 AM
 
3,252 posts, read 5,627,492 times
Reputation: 1575
Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoNewk View Post
Most Nam vets didn't have much choice. They could get drafted, enlist or:
1. stay in college until finished, then go
2. get married and have kids, earning a deferment
3. tuck tail and sneak off to Canada

I was from that era. I thought draft dodgers were lily-livered scum of the earth. 1 and 2 were only slightly better, but I couldn't have lived with myself knowing friends and relatives were fighting and I was too chicken/selfish to do my part.

That was a time (mid-60s) when we still pretty much trusted our political leaders. If they said we were needed to defend democracy, most of us believed them. (Remember JFK's inauguration speech, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what can you do for your country.")

For most of us it wasn't because we needed jobs or camaraderie; it was simply because we had no honorable alternative. I was in college when my draft number came up. I could have stayed in college as some of my friends did, but I'd have felt guilty. To me and many like me, military duty was just something that you HAD to do if the country was at war.

I remember praying from the time I was 8 until 18 that I'd never have to go to war, as my older cousins did with Korea, but there it was.
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Quote:"Most Nam vets didn't have much choice. They could get drafted, enlist or:
1. stay in college until finished, then go
2. get married and have kids, earning a deferment
3. tuck tail and sneak off to Canada"

Well, I was a few years too young for Nam, but the reason so many of all my direct relatives are MD PhD's, is because of #1, and if I were old enough for it then, I would have done the same. I had a father in WWII, a grandfather in WWI, and I think I was one of the lucky ones that got to miss every war. I had relatives that landed on Omaha beach, shot down in B17's, and killed in the Civil War so they had the $300 to keep their family alive.

The Vietnam and Korea wars were different. It wasn't protecting our homeland. I respect the vets that made the ultimate sacrifice, but I never would have gone. It has nothing to do with 'being chicken', as you say. I volunteered to be a pilot when I was 25 (corrected vision and asthma ruled me out at that time.) I also feel my contributions in the medical field will help save thousands of people, and while not a justification, is just a little bit more productive.
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Old 12-29-2011, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
8,597 posts, read 15,174,196 times
Reputation: 11977
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSparkle928 View Post
...Well, I was a few years too young for Nam.... I respect the vets that made the ultimate sacrifice, but I never would have gone. It has nothing to do with 'being chicken', as you say....
I don't think you can know what you'd have done had you been a little older. Thinking in the U.S. changed radically in the late '60s and early '70s, and that influenced you just as well as everyone else.

By the late 60's Nam had become a very unpopular war. Politicians were no longer held in high regard by many, and by the time Nixon resigned from office there was little respect or trust for politicians.
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Old 12-30-2011, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
518 posts, read 1,727,736 times
Reputation: 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angorlee View Post
First, most people who join the military don't join out of patriotism but because they need a change in their life, or they want the cameraderie, or their out of work, or its a way to get out of their home town, and probably many other reasons. But the reason we must thank vets is because no matter what the reason for their going in the military they served their country. They put their time in for what they believed was a just cause even if politicians sent them off to a war that wasn't in our interests. They carry the experience of being in the heart of the country with them throughout their whole lives. It was terrible the way vietnam vets were treated when they came back home. Many were rejected and became homeless and many died on the streets. Those were people who served the heart of their country. But it wasn't just vietnam vets it was any vet of that period was treated the same disgusting way. There is much more that can be said but words are hard to come by to explain something that has deep ties to their country.
My husband as well as all three of my children are currently serving - all three kids chose to serve soley based on their patriotism and had abolutely nothing to do with the reasons you listed.
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