I may be breaking my cardinal rule of no politics for this blog, but I think it needs to be said. This week is the anniversary of the fall of Saigon, ending the Vietnam War. (I know it was technically not a "war" per se but was a conflict police action, but that is just demeaning to all elements involved.) Though it was before I was born, I had several members of my family serve in that war, including my father, grandfather, and step uncle.
I don't want this to get political. I know several of my friends who read this blog are pacifists and thoroughly anti-military. I am personally neither, but I am certainly not going to argue about moral war, etc. Though I for the life of me cannot understand pacifists, I respect where they are coming from. Having served in combat-like situations, I would very much love to live in a world where wars were not a reality, but I do not live in such a world. Sorry, I'm a dyed in the wool realist.
I have certainly heard here at S-W strong anti-military sentiment going way beyond being anti-war. I mean, people saying things like people serving in the military are stupid (this is the edited version). My point for this blog is simply thus: you can disagree with Bush, and war, and whatever, but please do not ever denigrate servicemen and women. Case in point: when I was about 14, I had gone to vist my aforementioned grandfather, rest his soul+. He was going to his 30 year anniversary with his old unit near Fort Benning, GA. It was a nice catered affair at the officer's club, etc. I tagged along sort of as an adopted military brat. Near the end of the soiree, we were about to leave and someone, and I can't remember who it was, might have been a caterer. It was a civilian, that's all I remember. She shook my grandfather's hand and thanked him "for serving in the Vietnam war."
I remember my grandfather sort of got a weird, far off look, but I didn't think much about it at that moment. We got out to the car and he put this keys in the ignition and just sort of sat there. He was the strongest most admirable person I believe I have ever met, and he just completely burst into tears. To my knowledge that was the first time I had ever seen him cry. It sort of freaked me out, and he said, "That is the first time anyone has ever thanked me for serving in Vietnam." As we drove home, he told me stories of when he came home and people would spit on him, and all sorts of (again I am going to break a cardinal blog rule and use bad language) sh*t. This was 1993, folks. I'm sorry, but that just ain't right.
For all you boys who serve and have never been told this, thanks.