"the old switcharoo" - I take it by your comments you were there... you
served... or you lived in the 60s around bases? I was in Berkley in
the early to mid 60s.... not sure where you were, but we surely were not in the
same place. I think it was KOMO that used to have frequent stories of service
people on leave having issues in the area. Perhaps where ever you were, life
was all puppy dogs and unicorns, but in the communities around military
installations.... things were often quit different.And like
mentioned before... you may want to check your math there....
Apologies to Jed Boal. Evidently, he wasn't the one perpetuating the myth
about the myth.
It happened despite what Jed Boal things. Was it rampant? Probably not. Was
there examples where the troops were supported? Yes. But to say it didn't
happen, not sure we can go there...
If you weren't in San Francisco during the late 60's you should not
comment on this story. It happened and revisionist historians cannot gloss over
the physical and emotional abuse heaped on veterans of the Viet Nam war.
".0000000000001" (1 in 10 to the 13th. There aren't that many
people in the world.) is sheer blather.
I am a Viet Nam Veteran, and I will state categorically that I was spit on in
the San Diego Airport, and took a ton of verbal abuse right here in Salt Lake
City, baby killer, war monger, etc. On the other hand some bus drivers would lt
me ride free. Abuse became so prevalent that Admiral Zumwalt when he became
chief of Naval Operations in 1970 allowed sailors to grow beards, and far more
freedom to wear civilian clothes, so not to draw attention to ourselves. When the USS Enterprise left on a Westpac cruise from San Francisco in the
fall of 1972, the government had to close the Golden Gate Bridge to traffic as
it was discussed by the anti-war demonstrators to dump garbage, loaves of bread,
and worst yet, lead based paint balloons to foul the ships radar and
communication systems.If it happened to me, it happened to others!!
The facts are more acurately described as .00001 percent of Vietnam vets were
spit upon and disrespected by .0000000000001 percent of the population when they
returned home. Don't make isolated instances into a mountain of
When a joke didn't make any one laugh the punch line was; It' kinda
like Vite Nome, you would of had to of been there.
(cont.) He also commented that soldiers are a tough bunch--not many people
would be foolish enough to spit on or throw garbage at soldiers fresh from
combat with out the safety of a bus between them and the soldiers. It's a
hard hard job--physically, mentally and emotionally. Then as our conversation
ended he quietly added, with a tone I rarely hear from him and the kind that
breaks my heart---"but there was no welcome home or thank you". He occasionally will comment that he tries to live his life worthy of
those who didn't get to live. Didn't get to have families or see
children grow up. Those on both sides of a battle field who sacrificed it all.
On a lighter note:Hey, I was at USU in the early 70's and
wondered what ever happened to Dayne. When I go back to USU I always tell my
Aggie children about him and where he stood outside the Student Union
Building.--Good to hear from you Dayne.
Okay, so without any kind of prefacing, I just asked my husband, who enlisted
and was in the second group that went into Viet Nam and eventually retired as a
Col. after Desert Storm, if he was ever spit on. He said "no". He flew
only into and out of military bases during Viet Nam and said that he experienced
mobs of protesters throwing fruit and garbage at the buses necessitating wire
mesh on the windows. I asked him if the protests and lack of respect and honor
for his sacrifice bothered him. He replied "no"--he had seen enough,
done enough, been through enough that those behaviors were pretty low on the
list of concerns.
I haven't read the book, "by Vietnam veteran Jerry Lembckeso", so
I'm not entirely sure what part of the fact that there were some Vietnam
vets who were spit upon and called "Bay Killers" he considers a
"myth".But, having personally witnessed that very behavior,
I can attest it is not **entirely** a myth.Perhaps he is decrying as
myth the idea that it was a common or wide-spread occurrence. Something which I
can also personally attest was **not** the case. It was, however, more common
and wide-spread than I've witnessed for returning vets of any other war.
And, common and wide-spread enough that the nation was properly brought to some
measure of shame that people who were only dutifully acting as citizen soldiers
(when the military was not occupied by a "volunteer" force), often
against their will and preference.The bottom line to me is that
**any** gratuitous and unthinking reaction like what Lembckeso describes as a
"myth" and which I personally witnessed on at least one occasion, is
I am sorry, but I am old enough to have lived through that period of time, and
do remember seeing on the evening news scenes of disrespect toward those who
returned home from service in Vietnam. Did it happen to all.... absolutely not.
Did it happen to most, most likely not as we all know how the news usually over
states circumstances.But to claim it didn't happen, this is not
only false, but is something akin to Nazi deniers. Not all germans were
Nazi's, not did most accept their brutality. But that brutality did
happen, and to deny it does not change history.Likewise, there were
many things that went very wrong - on all sides - during the Vietnam conflict.
To pretend otherwise takes away from those who did act honorably during those
times. What Jerry Lembcke motivation was when he wrote his book can only be
anyones guess... but if he claims Vietnam vets were received home with honor by
all is a great distortion of fact. Rewriting history to match some
unknown narrative or agenda is what should be being discussed.
This is false. I personally saw several instances of this in Cleveland and
Kent, Ohio. Some WERE spit upon. Young men who returned from the war and
enrolled at Kent State University before the shooting there were treated
terribly.Some of that led to the infamous shooting by the National
Guard at the university.I was a national park ranger stationed in
Washington, D.C. during the time of the shooting. What I witnessed there -- on
both sides of the issue -- was totally disgusting.
I,too, have read that over the decades and wondered at times -Who did that?
When did that ever happen? My brother was a Vietnam Vet and I don't ever
remember him addressing that at all.
Yes, they were welcomed back as they should have been. The politicians that
wanted to stop Communist aggression are a different matter, they wanted to get
rid of the political system that is still in power and loand us money to get
through the conservative economic collapse.