War is inevitable.
It has been with us throughout time and will continue to the end.
It may very well cause the end.
It has and will always be barbaric. It just gets less messy for those who have to deliver the fatal blow or maybe I should say those who command those delivering the fatal blow.
It affects countless lives.
It affects those directly involved and it affect those not directly involved.
I have been fortunate to have never known or felt the horrors of war. I make no pretense to understanding the effects of war on those who have experienced it firsthand.
When I was a child and teenager the Vietnam War was in full swing.
I grew up during a war that was both glamorized and vilified at the same time.
Vietnam was front and center on our television every night.
None of my friends had brothers who served in Vietnam, at least none that I was aware of. I did grow up in a rural area and didn’t have many friends aside from the few kids in our tiny town.
The war had been going one as long as I could remember. There was no one day we were plunged into war. It was always there. I remember watching old footage of the celebrations at the end of World War II and thinking won’t it be great when we win this war in Vietnam and everyone comes home. We can all celebrate like that and have these massive ticker tape parades.
I soon found out how naïve I was.
The soldiers who served in Vietnam were screwed by the very people they thought they were serving.
The politician and the media vilified them and what they had done and sacrificed.
To this day I cannot recall an apology from any of them.
The soldiers didn’t start the war and they weren’t allowed to finish it. And yet a generation held them accountable for the war that no one wanted to touch.
I wasn’t around to experience World War II or the Korean War. Vietnam is the war I grew up with.
Wars are started by politicians and ended by politicians. Sometimes the end they devise is to create the next war.
But in between the beginning and the end, the blood, guts and sacrifice is that of the common soldier.
I respect that and I respect those who serve.
Those who served in Vietnam were robbed of the honor they deserved the day they come home.
© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.