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My mother tried really hard to protect us, but occasionally, after afternoon cartoons of whatever was on... the nightly news would come on, and I'd see footage from the war zone, and I would hear the word 'Vietnam,' and I would know my dad was over there, and it was a very frightening experience for me.
Although I wasn't able to get a visa for Vietnam, I was able to talk with swift boat veterans to get a feel for the time and place, and I visited a tropical prison in the Philippines to get a sense of what a Vietnamese prison might have been like.
One big, glaring difference I can think of between Iraq and Vietnam is the news coverage. During the Vietnam War era, you had TV coverage of the war saturating the airwaves every night, and that coverage wasn't put through a military filter at all.
Vietnam was a lie but at least there was a political agenda. It was the domino theory. Iraq is about nothing but George Bush's ego laced with imperialist ambitions. And it was helped by your government.
As Bill Clinton said so eloquently at the convention, during Vietnam there was a chance to serve; there was a chance not to serve.
My parents demonstrated against the Vietnam war, they were into the civil rights movement, the feminist movement, they started the first vegetarian restaurant in Pittsburgh.
It's a weird scene. You win a few baseball games and all of a sudden you're surrounded by reporters and TV men with cameras asking you about Vietnam and race relations.
I got my head bashed in at a demonstration against the Vietnam War. Police were losing control because they were up against a world they really didn't understand.
These men were wrongfully rejected, the veterans. The fighting man should never have been blamed for Vietnam.
Philadelphia reflected the national turmoil over race and the Vietnam War, often exploding on my watch.
I was a grunt, walking around in the jungle of Vietnam, trying not to find the enemy. Because I am so big, they were going to give me either a heavy radio or a huge machine gun to carry. I carried a radio.
In revealing the workings of government that led to the Vietnam War, the newspapers nobly did precisely that which the Founders hoped and trusted they would do.
The crusades of Vietnam and Watergate seemed like a good idea at the time, even a noble one, not only to the press but perhaps to a majority of Americans.
It seems to be that when these communist regimes take over - if you look at the example of Vietnam or Cambodia or Nicaragua - that even in conditions of peace they don't seem to be able to figure out how to support their people, and the human suffering is enormous.
In 1968, America was a wounded nation. The wounds were moral ones; the Vietnam War and three summers of inner-city riots had inflicted them on the national soul, challenging Americans' belief that they were a uniquely noble and honorable people.
The people who were against the Vietnam War thought I was attacking the Army. The guys in the Army thought I was representing their experiences. I was on both sides, and I survived.
Obviously all of us have thought about Vietnam, particularly in my generation in Australia that were part of conscription and fought there. Our friends came back, forever changed. So there were a lot of questions.
After the 1954 Geneva international conference, Vietnam was divided into two parts. On paper, North and South Vietnam were twin countries born at the same moment.
Nguyen Cao Ky
The conclusion that many uniformed military came away from Vietnam with was that political interference, dominance of strategy and even tactics were a very bad way to conduct a war, and that indeed, if that was going to be our practice, that we shouldn't wage conflict again.
We pretended there was no problem with Agent Orange after Vietnam and later the Pentagon recanted, after untold suffering by veterans.
People take sides on political things, such as the Vietnam War. War is immoral and war is wrong, but I don't think the clergy ought to bring it before the Church.
Vietnam was what we had instead of happy childhoods.
We want to bring better products to Vietnam. My hope is through changes in lifestyle and the products we consume, it will affect the people and change the way they are thinking.
Pham Nhat Vuong
I left the Democratic Party basically on issues of national security during the end of the Vietnam War.
People that spend time in a foxhole - they're never going to find that relationship anywhere else again... Everything else pales next to that. When you think about the Second World War vets - more than even the Vietnam vets - there's a brotherhood.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
C. S. Lewis
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