Monticello, UT, USA
Although I was not a soldier in the steamy jungles, Nam has continued to affect my philosophy and my patriotism.
Before the war I spent little time questioning government's calling. Now, I am skeptical of most things, particularly those involving soldiers and machines of destruction. I can still remember some military wag saying that peace was simply a pre-condition of war. Made me angry then, and such thinking still frightens me.
I've seen the Viet Nam Memorial, traced out the names of high school friends who died there, and recalled the adjustment of some who came home without limbs or minds. I've had to hire vets under the government's preference and then had to redo their work because they could no longer follow directions or focus on the task.
The US accomplished nothing for the country of Viet Nam, damaged hundreds or thousands of young people, and permanently dented its own credibility. How can this nation look upon that time without tasting the bile of lies, death, and dishonor -- not the soldiers but the members of Congress and the White House. It is a period in our history that seems to have ushered in the liar de jur of public office.