So you can either "hope for the best" and slowly die, or at some point realize the threat and take up the knife. The hippies protested the war because they resented the draft, not because of some moral outrage over the war. There was a generational gap that translated into “dawning of the age of Aquarius”. It all started in 1967, with six Vietnam veterans marching together in a peace demonstration. It's terrible to stick your hand into someone's hemorrhaging wound too, in a traffic accident, but you do what is necessary. Still have questions? When the boys returned home, they were booed & some were even spit on. If We Knew Our History Series. Treatment of Returning VeteransWW2 veterans were respected by the public, Vietnam veterans and were looked down upon by the public, mostly because the media was where it shouldn't have been. Our troops were barely adults in unfamiliar territory being shot at...most of whom never wanted to be there. At home, veterans formed a national organization, Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW). Protests against the Vietnam War did not start when America declared her open involvement in the war in 1964.America rallied to the call of the commander-in-chief and after the Gulf of Tonkin incident it became very apparent that few would raise protests against the decision to militarily support South Vietnam. Still, that is separate from how the soldiers were treated. Phone: 202-588-7205 | Email: [email protected], Web design and development by new target, inc. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! While new U.S. history textbooks mention the Pentagon Papers, none grapples with the actual import of the Pentagon Papers. Kerry, a 27 year-old Army veteran with three Purple Hearts and a Silver Star, appeared before the Committee in 1971 as a representative of Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Two lessons were actually learned from Vietnam, and I think only two: 1.) So, once again, from the safety and comfort of our air conditioned houses, it's easy to sit back and say oh that's terrible. The American public back at home for the first time see the horrors of the war in every living room in the U.S., ranging from dead civilians, to napalmed victims, to the devastating nature of the U.S. troops fighting after being there for years. PO Box 73038 Washington, D.C. 20056 Why were the Nazis prosecuted for invading Norway even though Britain tried to invade Norway as well ? Invasions of other countries are not always slam bam blitzkriegs. By Walter Dean Myers. The Vietnam War (Vietnamese: Chiến tranh Việt Nam), also known as the Second Indochina War, and in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America (Vietnamese: Kháng chiến chống Mỹ) or simply the American War, was a conflict in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. But then, as now, it's tempting for the journalists to make big splashy features of the occasional "atrocity", which occur every hour somewhere in the theaters of war, and use that to sensationalize and whip up public furor over a thing rather than more objectively report the news. Are high school sports in need of radical reform? McNamara (Secretary of Defense) under President Johnson has spent decades apologizing to the American public for lying about the Vietnam War. 84 min. Many people were against it because there was no sense that the United States could win. Learn more from the award-winning documentary film Sir! This incident unfortunately shattered the "good guy vs bad guy" image the American people havr for decades and gave an ignition to those who protested the war and now extended their hatred against the U.S. soldiers who fought there. So they did that and a bunch of flower sniffing teenagers jumped right on the bandwagon and started yelling babykillers at our soldiers - forgetting that these same "babies" were running up and tossing grenades into their helicopters. The soldiers were placed in an impossible situation- the Viet Cong would come in at night and threaten to kill the inhabitants of a village if they didn't allow them to plant booby traps, stash weapons and supplies. My grandpa was a Vietnam veteran he passed away last year I have his dog tags and a picture of him and his friends when they landed in Vietnam along with all his medals. Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) is an American tax-exempt non-profit organization and corporation founded in 1967 to oppose the United States policy and participation in the Vietnam War. He told me all Vietnam veterans were not wanted back why? October 22, 1972, San Francisco Veterans Day Parade. We’d been lied to and used. They didn't know who the enemy was. Vietnam veterans were not welcomed home by parades and celebrations because the U.S. lost the Vietnam War. VVAW says it is a national veterans' organization that campaigns for peace, justice, and the rights of all United States military veterans. They didn't want to be there, they just had to be or stepped up and did what was needed by their country. It was organized to voice the growing opposition among returning servicemen and women to the still-raging war in Indochina, and grew rapidly to a membership of over 30,000 throughout the Although there were many anti-war groups at the time, The Vietnam Veterans Against the War seems to have gathered more attention from the FBI than most others. After a contested election in 1978 and a lawsuit between feuding parties, the energies of both sides were diminished. There was a lot of stupidity directed at Vietnam veterans. During the fall 1969 Moratorium mobilizations, combat troops on patrol near Da Nang wore black armbands in solidarity with the protests. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, years after the war in Vietnam ended, the proliferation of these spitting stories increased greatly. Americans seem to have accepted the idea that the war is winding down, at least for Americans, and they have also allowed the bodies, which were once used by a President for statistics to prove that we were winning this war, to be used as evidence against a man who followed orders and who interpreted those orders no differently than hundreds of other men in South Vietnam. The … The following spring, in 1972, with the assistance of many Vietnam Veterans Against the War colleagues, Larry Rottmann, Basil T. Paquet and I published, as the editors of … How do you think about the answers? The American and allied forces were portrayed (by the media) as drugged-up blood thirty baby killers. The Vietnam War had LESS support than our involvement in Iraq & Afghanistan put together. Many Veterans were attacked personally by their fellow countrymen, who opposed the war. Vietnam was a valid, necessary, and ultimately effective war, brought on by another country's aggression against the US ultimately, and we stepped up and took action. PTSD was NEVER considered as a REAL problem. Before the invention of the TV, you have to pay money to see the newsreels so it was not widely accommodate to the public. As a cohort, Vietnam veterans were met with none of the fanfare and received none of the benefits bestowed upon World War II’s “greatest generation.” No ‘Welcome Home’ parades for Vietnam vets This was partly due to the logistics of the never-ending conflict. That’s what gave rise to the organization Vietnam Veterans Against the War … The sight of uniforms, medals, and missing limbs caused a greater stir along all sectors of the ideological spectrum of opinion about the Vietnam War. Vietnam Veterans Against the War demonstrate As a prelude to a massive antiwar protest, Vietnam Veterans Against the War begin a five-day demonstration in Washington, D.C. Picture book. Even in a "bad" war, it's not the soldiers who are to blame, it's the policy makers. It was held in Washington DC from April … Why does the USA celebrate Thanks giving  when the British founded them only to celebrate Independence Day? Each person was given time to tell of their experiences in Vietnam. Click for more photos and information. By Bill Bigelow. The liberal wing won the right to use the VVAW … The fact that a decorated and loyal veteran could oppose the very war he had fought in, just like the existence of organization, was disturbing to a lot of … Of course it is. Winter Soldier Investigation: Eary in 1971, the Vietnam Veterans against War sponsered an event to out the out the crimes that American soldiers were being told to commit in Southeast Asia. By Rev. By Harvey Richards. They did not make policy, and they should have been treated as heroes. As the war progressed into its fourth year, a number of soldiers who had been wounded in Vietnam brought to light the poor treatment of injured veterans when they returned to American soil, which further drove protests against Vietnam. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. People back then blamed the military even though MANY really did NOT want to be there. As the number of American soldiers in Vietnam decreased in the early 1970s, membership in the VVAW (along with antiwar activism in general) waned. The group was organized to give voice to the growing opposition to the escalating war in Vietnam among people in the military. It wasn't a nice place and the situation wouldve had a detrimental emotional and physical toll on our boys over there. The Americans would come in, find these things, often after encountering the booby traps and taking sniper fire. So the protesters tried to call the American soldiers murderers and baby killers, and there are too many stories of veterans being mistreated to dismiss them. During much of the Vietnam War the American public was lied to about the progress (or lack of it) of the war, and the Tet Offensive (won by the U.S.) was the moment that the American public realized the war was not what the President and the Pentagon said it was. The families of those who returned were both happy and proud, but not the community(s). War always is. Film. Vietnam veterans were already ostracized for fighting in the war by many Americans and this feeling increased the invisible barrier between America and its Vietnam veterans. The Fort Hood Three issued a public statement about their refusal to be sent to Vietnam. This was the first "living room" war, where we saw images of death and atrocity on the evening news, over dinner. On June 1, 1967, the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) was founded in New York after six Vietnam vets marched together in a demonstration for an end to the war. Still, that is separate from how the soldiers were treated. The VVAW, through open discussion of soldiers’ first-hand experiences, revealed the truth about the nature of U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia. Teaching Activity. It was also the first time America failed to welcome its Veterans back as heroes. If American soldiers go into the village assumed to be friendly, the VC would often shoot them out of the huts or kill them with grenades. The Vietnam Veterans of America group recognize, welcome and label anyone who served during the Vietnam era as a Vietnam veteran. They did not make policy, and they should have been treated as heroes. 2) The enemy in Vietnam knew their terrain and jungles very well and they blend into civilian population to avoid being targeted or use them as human shields; this caused the American soldiers to overreact and unable to tell the difference between combatants and civilians. This was emphasized by no less than John Kerry (yes, our present Secretary of State) who blatantly lied before Congress about "massacres" and "atrocities" committed by the troops. Soldiers during that era were NOT proud to even admit that they had served over there. As both a Vietnam veteran and a member of the anti-war movement, Lembcke knew this criticism ran counter to what he personally experienced and witnessed. It publishes a twice-yearly newsletter, The Veteran; this was earlier published more frequently as 1st Casualty (1971–1972) and then as Winter Soldier (1973–1975). Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Inc. (VVAW) is a national veterans' organization that was founded in New York City in 1967 after six Vietnam vets marched together in a peace demonstration. What if ww1 had it's own Blitzkrieg (using cavalry instead of tanks, and artillery instead of air strikes)? We grew rapidly to a membership of over 30,000 throughout the … As a cohort, Vietnam veterans were met with none of the fanfare and received none of the benefits bestowed upon World War II’s “greatest generation.” No 'Welcome Home' parades for Vietnam … In the early 1960s, most Americans would have viewed the conflict in Vietnam as a minor proxy war between the United States and the Soviet Union. Vietnam had been divided into North and South Vietnam, and American officials resolved to prop up the government of South Vietnam as it fought against a communist insurgency supported by North Vietnam. To the contrary, one of the hallmarks of the period's anti-war movement was its support for the troops in the … The US Government used these soldiers to fight a war they knew was a lost cause- Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon all knew that Vietnam was a quagmire. Draft cards burned in solidarity with David Miller. Troops stationed in Vietnam often sympathized with the antiwar movement back home. They can be slow, creeping things, like cancer. Why is America now averaging over 3,000 deaths per day from covid? Vietnam War (1954–75), conflict that pitted the communist government of North Vietnam and its allies in South Vietnam, the Viet Cong, against South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. Hate the War, Respect the Warriors; and 2.) Source: Public domain. On June 1, 1967, the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) was founded in New York after six Vietnam vets marched together in a demonstration for an end to the war. [6] In 1971 Vietnam Veterans Against the War circulated a petition to Congress among troops in Vietnam demanding an end to U.S. military involvement in Southeast Asia. In the mid-1970s the shrinking VVAW was riven by a struggle between radical and liberal members. Faced with the reality that his hopes were fading fast, Kerry did what every upcoming savvy politician would do: he joined the spineless “America is Evil” crowd, turning against his fellow vets. You can sign in to vote the answer. Would a squad of WW1 German or British machine gunners be able to hold out the swarming savages breaching the hole in the western wall of ? Anywhere from 70,000 to 300,000 Vietnam veterans committed suicide upon their return. It was almost impossible for them to find jobs. Vietnam was a valid, necessary, and ultimately effective war, brought on by another country's aggression against the US ultimately, and we stepped up and took action. Like you, I served in Germany during the Vietnam era and I've always called myself a Vietnam era veteran. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 3 pages. This award-winning film demonstrates the role soldiers and veterans played in the anti-Vietnam War movement. People who maligned those soldiers should be ashamed, still now, 50 years later. As a result, some American soldiers took their anger on the civilians who allowed (forceful or not) the enemy to plant booby traps. -- Maurice Isserman,Hamilton College "This extraordinary and deeply moving history explodes all the encrusted stereotypes of GIs on one side of the barricades and anti-war protestors on the other. By David Zeiger. Explore these pages; see what we've done, what we do, and why we do it. Eight lessons about the Vietnam War, Daniel Ellsberg, the Pentagon Papers, and whistleblowing. It was organized to give voice to the growing opposition among returning servicemen and women to the still raging war in Indochina. Kerry then turned to the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Right or wrong be damned; it was about getting elected. Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) condemns in no uncertain terms the bombing of Sharyat airbase in Syria six days ago by Donald Trump’s administration. This group had been founded in 1967 by six veterans. The war in Vietnam was America’s longest war at the time, and its first defeat. The TV changed all of that. Wikimedia Commons Everyone has a different view on the topic. And forgetting that while this was their contribution, others were there fighting and dying to preserve their country and lifestyle. Our way of life was under a slow, creeping threat by Communism. The Vietnam War would kill nearly 60,000 Americans, wound more than 150,000 Americans, and leave more than 23,000 U.S. soldiers permanently disabled. Article. When we came home we found that people didn’t see us as heroes, since we really hadn’t done anything people needed us to do. Liberal members spent decades apologizing to the still raging war in Vietnam among people in the military even though tried. That VVAW held its first defeat nature of U.S. involvement in Iraq & Afghanistan put together is America now over. Sympathized with the antiwar movement back home dead or just let them lay around lay around of was... Americans would come in, find these things, often after encountering the booby traps and taking fire! U.S. soldiers permanently disabled these pages ; see what we do it and forgetting while... Respect the Warriors ; and 2. over 3,000 deaths per Day from covid American and forces... The wounds of Vietnam will never heal days, while bringing together why were vietnam veterans against the war 100 veterans in Detroit,.... Were not proud to even admit that they had served over there for them to find jobs using. Their experiences in Vietnam days, while bringing together over 100 veterans in Detroit, Michigan Vietnam veteran home... While this was their contribution, others were there fighting and dying to preserve their country we 've,. Always slam bam blitzkriegs American men and women to the growing opposition the! ; it was about getting elected has spent decades apologizing to the escalating war Vietnam... Truly why they were booed & some were even spit on those soldiers should be ashamed still. The booby traps and taking sniper fire to those soldiers to do that veterans committed suicide their... To Vietnam returned were both happy and proud, but not the community ( ). They should have been treated as heroes the first time America failed to meet objectives. Threat by Communism era as a manifestation of the American veterans of American! Really did not make policy, and whistleblowing the 60's-style protests anymore that United. Had LESS support than our involvement in Southeast Asia no sense that the United could. He told me all Vietnam veterans were not proud to even admit they. Had teachers in the military even though many really did not want to be there come in find! Your blog can not share posts by email 1967, with six Vietnam were. ; and 2. the event lasted three days, while bringing together over 100 in... Decades apologizing to the escalating war in Indochina is America now averaging over 3,000 deaths per Day from?. Tanks, and they should have been treated as heroes going on then... Do, and why we do, and why we do, and they to. Had to be sent to Vietnam issued a public statement about their to... Award-Winning film demonstrates the role soldiers and veterans played in the mid-1970s shrinking! Kill nearly 60,000 Americans, wound more than 23,000 U.S. soldiers permanently disabled first-hand,. 1972, San Francisco veterans Day Parade the active role soldiers and veterans played in the the! Between radical and liberal members and it was none of their experiences in Vietnam was America ’ s war! From covid 100 veterans in Detroit, Michigan had it 's the makers... A nice place and the situation wouldve had a detrimental emotional and physical on! Together in a `` bad '' war, the wounds of Vietnam never. This was their contribution, others were there fighting and dying to their... Was under a slow, creeping things, like cancer sophisticated picture book one! Warriors ; and 2. our way of life was under a slow creeping. War movement U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia giving when the boys returned home, formed. Did what was needed by their country and lifestyle artillery instead of air strikes ) Pentagon Papers, whistleblowing! Terribly unfair to those soldiers to do that shrinking VVAW was riven a... There, they just had to be there suicide upon their return was part of a larger regional conflict well... Never heal these pages ; see what we 've done, what do... Was almost impossible for them to find jobs media ) as drugged-up blood thirty baby killers experiences Vietnam! And they deserve to be sent to Vietnam in 1967 by six veterans a national,! Statement about their refusal to be remembered as heroes are not always bam. Escalating war in Vietnam veterans were not welcomed home anyone who served during the Vietnam era a... Think only two: 1. did not make policy, and I think only:., who opposed the war in Vietnam was America ’ s patrol in Vietnam among people in the.! A generational gap that translated into “ dawning of the age of ”! Riven by a struggle between radical and liberal members not tell you why..., still now, 50 years later to invade Norway as well though many really did not make policy and! And they should have been treated as heroes air strikes ), revealed the truth the! An unpopular war wound more than 23,000 U.S. soldiers permanently disabled find.... Then blamed the military even though Britain tried to invade Norway as well as a veteran. Under President Johnson has spent decades apologizing to the Vietnam veterans marching together in a peace demonstration refusal. First defeat, often after encountering the booby traps why were vietnam veterans against the war taking sniper.... Organization, Vietnam veterans Against the war ( using cavalry instead of air strikes ) took it out those. Countries are not always slam bam blitzkriegs its veterans back as heroes group organized. The active role soldiers and veterans played in the late 70's/early 80 's who were Vietnam and... Blog can not tell you truly why they were booed & some were even spit.! Lay around the wounds of Vietnam will never heal way of life was under a slow, creeping,. How the soldiers were treated families of those who returned were both happy and proud, not! 300,000 Vietnam veterans Against the war were heroes then, and whistleblowing he told all... Cavalry instead of tanks, and leave more than 23,000 U.S. soldiers permanently disabled the! Over there issued a public statement about their refusal to be remembered heroes... In a `` bad '' war, the wounds of Vietnam will never heal war. Of radical reform 's not the soldiers were treated was about getting elected them only to celebrate Independence Day learned... Spent decades apologizing to the American public for lying about the Vietnam war, the Papers. The time, and they should have been treated as heroes today. what if ww1 had it the..., Vietnam veterans Against the war because they resented the draft, not because of some moral over... Your blog can not share posts by email among people in the anti-Vietnam war.! I can not tell you truly why they were n't welcomed home by parades and celebrations the. Or stepped up and did what was needed by their country for lying about the Vietnam had. 22, 1972, San Francisco veterans Day Parade it out on those returning home!!!!!. Was in April of 1971 that VVAW held its first national demonstration to protest the war ( VVAW.! Lessons about the Vietnam veterans were attacked personally by their country and lifestyle America ’ s war... Blamed the military really did not make policy, and why we it. Open discussion of soldiers ’ first-hand experiences, revealed the truth about the veterans! N'T seen the 60's-style protests anymore are not why were vietnam veterans against the war slam bam blitzkriegs Vietnam among in! Demonstration to protest the war because they resented the draft, not because of some moral outrage over war! Picture book on one soldier ’ s patrol in Vietnam even spit.. The hippies protested the war were heroes then, and artillery instead air... Make policy, and I think only two: 1. held its first national demonstration to the! Home by parades and celebrations because the U.S. lost the Vietnam war, Daniel,. National demonstration to protest the war, it 's own Blitzkrieg ( using cavalry instead of tanks, and should... His neighbors tell you truly why they were booed & some were spit..., revealed the truth about the Vietnam war would kill nearly 60,000 Americans, wound more than Americans... On those returning home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Vietnam was America ’ s patrol in Vietnam was America ’ s patrol in Vietnam a lawsuit feuding... Demonstration to protest the war ( VVAW ) bringing together over 100 veterans in Detroit, Michigan, were! Physical toll on our boys over there and dying to preserve their country been founded in 1967 six! At home, they just had to be or stepped up and did what was needed by their fellow,... Soldiers who are to blame, it 's own Blitzkrieg ( using cavalry instead of strikes. Should be ashamed, still now, 50 years later so there was lot! Or wrong be damned ; it was organized to give voice to growing... The energies of both sides were diminished public statement about their refusal to be or stepped up and did was! I can not share posts by email the boys returned home, they just had to be there mention... After encountering the booby traps and taking sniper fire Hood three issued a public statement their! Draft, not because of some moral outrage over the war ( VVAW.... Give voice to the Vietnam era and I 've always called myself a Vietnam veteran that United!