To All Vietnam Vets

Reposting my February blog to Vietnam vets:

The recent review of my Woodstock novel, Goodbye Emily, by Vietnam Vet David Wilson means a lot to me. Some of my old friends have names on that black marble wall in Washington, so I’ll pause in my discussion of Woodstock to talk about something that means a lot to me.

Vietnam vets deserve our thanks.

Vietnam vets deserve our thanks.

People who weren’t around then might find it difficult to appreciate how the country treated soldiers who returned home from the Vietnam War. To say poorly is a gross understatement. In previous wars, returning soldiers were treated to parades and accolades. At the end of World War I, Doughboys returned hom to ticker-tape parades, marching bands, speeches and the good will of all Americans. Soldiers returned home from World War II and Korea were treated as heroes.

Today’s generation of veterans return to the most pro-veteran environment in decades. Many corporations actively recruit and employ veterans, and the post-9/11 G.I. Bill provides benefits for higher education and vocational training to help veterans make a successful transition.

That wasn’t what happened to Vietnam veterans. Many people transferred their dissatisfaction with the Vietnam war to our soldiers, most of which were draftees, like my character Buck Jamison in Goodbye Emily. The country owes these Vietnam vets an apology for the way they were treated. Since I was around back then, so do I, but apologies aren’t enough. We should reach out to ensure they receive services they deserve and clearly earned through their efforts and sacrifices.

From me to all Vietnam vets, a belated thank you for your service to your country.



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Longtime Arizona resident and full time writer of novels with a touch of tenderness, a splash of mystery and plenty of laughs.

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Longtime Arizona resident and full time writer of novels with a touch of tenderness, a splash of mystery and plenty of laughs.
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2 Responses to To All Vietnam Vets

  1. Ls Folly says:

    In the tri-state area the effect of anti Vietnam war efforts meant that returning veterans had the exact same social status as a felon. Sure rational minds knew about the draft as it hung over young men with community (friends and family) dread. But somehow, even though we knew they were drafted, when they came back they still had the unspoken appellation above. How they are treated to this day is a taint on this nation and a warning to NOT join the military.

  2. Michael – excellent post and one everyone should read. It is indeed a travesty the way Vietnam vets were and are treated. It’s a black spot for this nation and the American people. We can’t change what happened, but we can make sure it never happens again, and we can chose to honor those brave Americans who fought for this country, including in Vietnam. God bless our Vietnam vets!

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