My husband’s cousin and his wife visited a few weeks ago. The guys play down their war experiences yet the topic of Viet Nam pops up in conversation.
Remember that war?
The rebellion of the 1960’s tells many stories. I felt unrest as a teenager in that decade.
· Young people trampled on traditional values and hippies emerged.
· Street artists drew daisy flowers on everything.
· Girls wore miniskirts and boys grew long hair.
· Ugly politics surfaced.
· Many smoked marijuana and experimented with LSD.
· Folk singers and rock musicians wrote anti war songs.
· Rallies beckoned many to protest the Viet Nam War.
Not all rebelled.
My husband and his cousin enlisted in the military. We say “thank you” on these patriotic holidays and sometimes they respond “No big deal.”
Truth is, it is a big deal. Ask their wives. We wives are the ones who live with these brave men. We know and can speak of the days our gallant husbands cope with depression and some suffer with PTSD. We experience the health issues they face from Agent Orange and war injuries both to body and mind.
This year commemorates 50 years since the Viet Nam War. We remember the 58,000 plus Americans killed. We’re grateful for their sacrifice.
A group of marines, including Tom’s cousin, spent two weeks in Viet Nam and returned yesterday. I text message Tom’s cousin and say “Thank you for your service and welcome home.”
I await his stories of a place filled with memories and emotion about a part of the world he will never forget at a time when Americans did not welcome him home.