Skip to comments.How Vietnam Vets were embraced - what media did not cover
Posted on 07/04/2014 6:56:05 PM PDT by se99tp
Independence Day is the yearly pinnacle of patriotism. But, as the media in the 1960s and 70s reported, Americans did not seem very patriotic when it came to the Vietnam War. What if what we know about Americans lack of support for our troops in Vietnam is wrong?
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The story about Home With Honor Parade in NYC in 1973 is very interesting.
It is more about how history isn’t as neatly packaged as it is usually presented.
Expecting 125k marchers, they got over 200k marchers with 500k more people cheering along a 3 mile parade route.
I am not a Viet Nam vet, but I was horribly treated in the early eighties. As a Marine doing a couple of parades in the midwest we were booed and jeered and had the occassional item thrown at us. Even in the early nineties when I went to school, advisors, employers, and professors marginalized us (A professor told me he was shocked a MArine could comprehend literature. I noted that if we replaced the term “Marine” with woman, black, etc. he’d be out of a job and that the only reason he wasn’t thrown off the balcony we were on was that I possessed self discipline which included not saying inapropriate or insulting things to others). In 98 a girl saw my USMC sticker on the truck and called me a baby killer (I honestly thought she was an old girlfriend I couldn’t remember until I realized she was referring to the sticker). The reason people lash out at US servicemen is they know we are disciplined and are unlikely to do anything violent. Civilians in the South Pacific or Europe did not have the same reaction to the US military approaching as they did concerning the Japanese or the Soviets.
Now I have people profusely thanking me for my service, which actually makes me more uncomfortable. Seems I am comfortable being shot at than praised.
Bump & BOOKMARK.
Thank you very much for posting this.
I am a Vietnam veteran and can honestly say that I was never aware of any disrespect directed toward me. There could have been some behind my back, of course, and maybe one or two of those post-service jobs I didn't get were due to some anti-military prejudice, but I was never conscious of it.
My dad and uncle were vilified when they came home on the “Freedom Bird” at the airport. He said people were yelling “Baby killers” - my dad responded to one of them saying “too bad I missed you” ....
Figured I'd get at least a few stink eyes from all the liberals here, but not so, or I did not notice or hear them.
I must admit, I got the plates partly to taunt them, beside the pride.
I speak only for myself. We flew into El Toro MCAS on a KC-130 after landing from a trans-Pacific flight from Okinawa.
I flew in with a buddy whose home was in San Francisco.
The good people in San Francisco would not let us buy a drink. We went to the Italian bakeries, and these wonderful people would not accept our money. We stopped at Fisherman’s Wharf and bought fresh crab for a buck per grocery bag. These hard-working fishermen appreciated us.
If any hippie had spit on us, it would have been the last thing he ever did. We were combat veterans. We would’ve ripped his face off and stomped his nuts into the concrete.
About 10 years ago, I was in a shoe store with my wife. I overheard two teenage clerks talking to each other. One mentioned her Vietnam veteran uncle, and in unison, they both went, “ewwwww!”
I wanted to clunk their heads together like Moe used to do to Larry and Curly.
I was stationed at Ft Eustis for a 3 month school after returning from Nam in 1968 and immediately reassigned to Europe thereafter. I flew into Seattle and out of New York to Europe. I traveled in uniform. I did not personally experience any anti Vietnam protestors - my wife said it was because of the look in my eyes. Though I had many friends accosted, some physically - wrong move on the part of the hippie. I have no doubt the media misinformed, as they did of the war in general. Their treason escalated from that time on and continues till today.
My observation as well. I and several of my riding buddies were stopped at a McDonalds and saw a couple of punks giving some Marines some crap. They were acting all big and bad and it was apparent that they knew very well that the Marines were not going to retaliate for fear of someone reporting them. We walked over and told the punks that we knew the fine young men in uniform were not allowed to harm them but that we were under no such constraints and would happily kick their asses as a way of thanking the Marines for their service. I thought the punks were going to wet themselves. They nearly ran from the place. We got a nice “Semper Fi” from one of the Marines which we considered an honor.
I was there.
We were very patriotic.
Media gave freedom riders and college activists undue attention given their tiny numbers
Vietnam had a fair amount of media support till Tet and then Me Lai cemented the negativity
And the body counts which they did under both LBJ and Nixon though they hated Nixon even though he was leaving Nam.
Youth was actually more conservative voting than now.....check voting records
The left did not own academia then nor were the Hollywood cartel as openly destructive of traditional Christian America as yet back then...70s were that watershed
The Media liked the Beats but they adored the Hippies and Yippies...and made them exponentially larger than the fringe they were
It was awkward comical then.....straights trying to be cool....imagine Dick Cavett in his turtleneck trying to be relevant to Abbie Hoffman or Bob Dylan...lol
That undercurrent of a youth rebelling against an entrenched 50s establishment of conformity was fairly widespread but not as contrasted as say Haight Ashbury versus Pat Boone
Youth culture still with us just proportionately far less youth
When I was a kid...b1957....everyone was under 30 it seemed like
Post World War II horniness and all....God bless them....you survive that and time to get it on
Thank you very much for your service Sir.
Not surprising. You had to be above average to be accepted for the draft. A comparison between Iraq vets and their contemporaries would probably be even more favorable to the vets, since they were all volunteers and the services could select the very top recruits.
I returned from Thailand in 1963 individually, not part of a unit, and encountered no problems. However, that was before the war expanded.
He got home after I did, and being a local unit from Niagara Falls, the 136th received a hearty welcome home.
I received a hearty welcome home from the fathers of my high school friends who were WWII/Korea vets, we were equals, and had some talking to do. I went to SUNY Buffalo, and the SDS, INTLANSWER, and the other elitist dickheads from New York City regularly shut down the campus and hurled invectives at the vets.
I told my father that my generation of vets would never turn their backs on the new returning vets and let Intlanswer. I wish he would have lived long enough to see the Free Republic and the Gathering Of Eagles where we faced down Intlanswer. Those punks really wanted a piece of the 45,000 Vietnam, Kuwait, and War on Terror vets that were there to protect the monuments in Washington
Too bad the cops kept them on their side of the street.
Thank you. It was my duty and my honor to serve my country.