"We few, we happy, we band of brothers...." I salute my fellow Vietnam Veterans - When many in our baby boom generation dodged the draft, we marched to the sound of the cannons as volunteers. When we returned from Southeast Asia we were spit on by the same traitors who refused to defend liberty and called foul names..
We couldn't find jobs. We camped under bridges. We drifted from town to town from job to job. Nobody wanted us - the lost soldiers of a lost war. They wanted to forget it had ever happened. They wanted us to disappear, or at least shut up about Vietnam! And when civilian life became impossible for us proud vets who refused to stop wearing our old field jackets and battered jungle hats,that told our war stories with American flags and the emblems of the proud units we served within the decade long Vietnam War
...but people in the 1970s looked the other way.
Yes, we really did try to fit in with the civilian world. We had been helicopter pilots, tank drivers, sergeants, officers - some as teenagers - we were well trained and educated men with hands on experience.
However, we were passed over in the job markets by the very traitors then and managers now, who spent the war years protesting us, the patriots. The jobs we were offered was of the lowest level: day labor, truck drivers, warehouse workers, car wash employees - if we were lucky and no one in the employment office checked out resume.
So faced lost years of being kicked around for the high crime of doing our patriot duty. Finally, the hardcore "Never back down from a fight." Vietnam Veterans went back to our "Employer Of Last Resort" the war brothers, the U.S. military, where our resume counted and our skills were needed and promotion very liberal.
We became the NCOs, the Officers of The New Model Army of Ronald Reagan in the 1980s - we trained up new soldiers - armed them up with the best weapons in the world - and made a mighty war machine out of a new generation of young patriots - volunteers all. The enemies of America became afraid - They had faced the American War Machine on a thousand battlefields in Vietnam and knew it took days to count their dead...
Finally, we bagged our old communist enemies - The Russians - The Dread Soviet Union - The Evil Empire in 1991!
Today we live quietly on our military pensions....and maybe you see us at the shopping centers - some old guy wearing a much wore hat saying, "Vietnam Veteran."
And maybe ever summer when it rains, we soldiers of the lost war smell the jungle, hear the thunder, and see the planes coming in on their bombing runs with silver tanks of napalm shinning in the sun as they fall to the ground bringing death and destruction to the communist enemy....Some of us will never leave Saigon.
Yes, we Vietnam Veterans suffered in war and peace because we never surrendered our belief in our sacred Republic - the United States of America.
We never did forget YOU and what YOU stand for Old Glory: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Yes, we would do it again! "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers..."