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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.
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.
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.
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.
I'm sure that President Johnson would never have pursued the war in Vietnam if he'd ever had a Fulbright to Japan, or say Bangkok, or had any feeling for what these people are like and why they acted the way they did. He was completely ignorant.
J. William Fulbright
Belize suits me because I'm active and I like diving. I learnt when I was 18, in Thailand, and I have dived in Vietnam, which wasn't great, the Red Sea, which was incredible and reasonably priced, and then the Maldives, which is like being submerged in an aquarium.
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.
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.
These men were wrongfully rejected, the veterans. The fighting man should never have been blamed for Vietnam.
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.
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.
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.
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
We pretended there was no problem with Agent Orange after Vietnam and later the Pentagon recanted, after untold suffering by veterans.
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.
World War II brought the Greatest Generation together. Vietnam tore the Baby Boomers apart.
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.
I wasn't happy with the outcome in Vietnam. Now, I've never said that, but, you know, I'm getting to an age where I think I'd better start saying it... And I don't mean that to sound that I'm being critical of somebody or blaming somebody.
Lincoln made mistakes. Roosevelt made mistakes. Eisenhower made mistakes. The Battle of the Bulge was the biggest intelligence failure in American military history, much bigger than any in Vietnam or now. We didn't know that the Soviets were moving 400,000 or 500,000 troops. We missed it.
Truman fired the popular Gen. Douglas MacArthur because he disobeyed orders in the Korean War. Johnson knew that he had reached the endgame in Vietnam when Gen. William Westmoreland, the top commander in Vietnam, requested 240,000 more troops in 1968 for the prolonged war that also could not be won.
As the senior commander in Vietnam, I was aware of the potency of public opinion - and I worried about it.
For a decade or more after the Vietnam war, the people who had guided the U.S. to disaster decently shrank from the public stage.
Nixon did have a secret plan, and I knew that it involved making threats of nuclear war to North Vietnam.
We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war.
During the Vietnam era, more than 30,000 draft dodgers and deserters sought harbor in cities like Montreal and Toronto, where public opposition to the war was strong and most residents didn't question their motives.
Wil S. Hylton
Martin Luther King, Jr.
John F. Kennedy
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