by Joe Kirkpatrick
I have really been proud of Americans concerning the war in Iraq. Everywhere you look there are those symbolic yellow ribbons on cars and storefronts. Even people who were outspoken about our country going into Iraq seem to now support the soldiers we have over there and their efforts. As of last week, over 1000 of our men have been killed over there in fighting. We need to certainly keep them all in our thoughts and prayers, and continue to lend them our full support.
What I am not proud of is how Americans treated another group of young soldiers: the ones who fought in Viet Nam. Many of those soldiers returned home to face criticism, protests, and some were even spit upon. Many of these men still suffer from the mental anguish from what they experienced over there, and even worse, what they experienced when they got home. These are the forgotten soldiers, and most were never praised or commended for their service to their country. To add insult to injury, the government debated for years on whether to even call the conflict in Viet Nam a "war" or not.
Let's go back and look at the United State's involvement in Viet Nam.
First off, it was the longest running war the US has ever been involved in - from 1964 until 1975. During those years, over 9,000,000 Americans served.