I was in my twenties during the Vietnam era. I was a single mother and, I'm sad to say, I was probably one of the most self-centered people on the planet. To be perfectly honest…I didn't care one way or the other about the war. All I cared about was me—how I looked, what I wore, and where I was going. I worked and I played. I was never politically involved in anything, but I allowed my opinions to be formed by the media. It happened without my ever being aware. I listened to the protest songs and I watched the six o'clock news and I listened to all the people who were talking. After awhile, I began to repeat their words and, if you were to ask me, I'd have told you I was against the war. It was very popular. Everyone was doing it, and we never saw what it was doing to our men. All we were shown was what they were doing to the people of Vietnam.
My brother joined the Navy and then he was sent to Vietnam. When he came home, I repeated the words to him. It surprised me at how angry he became. I hurt him very deeply and there were years of separation—not only of miles, but also of character. I didn't understand. In fact, I didn't understand anything until one day I opened my newspaper and saw the anguished face of a Vietnam veteran. The picture was taken at the opening of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. His countenance revealed the terrible burden of his soul. As I looked at his picture and his tears, I finally understood a tiny portion of what you had given for us and what we had done to you. I understood that I had been manipulated, but I also knew that I had failed to think for myself. It was like waking up out of a nightmare, except that the nightmare was real. I didn't know what to do.
One day about three years ago, I went to a member of the church I attended at that time, because he had served in Vietnam. I asked him if he had been in Vietnam, and he got a look on his face and said, "Yes." Then, I took his hand, looked him square in the face, and said, "Thank you for going." His jaw dropped, he got an amazed look on his face, and then he said, "No one has ever said that to me." He hugged me and I could see that he was about to get tears in his eyes.
It gave me an idea, because there is much more that needs to be said. How do we put into words…all the regret of so many years? I don't know, but when I have an opportunity, I take…so here goes. Have you been to Vietnam? If so, I have something I want to say to you—Thank you for going! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Please forgive me for my insensitivity. I don't know how I could have been so blind, but I was. When I woke up, you were wounded and the damage was done, and I don't know how to fix it. I will never stop regretting my actions, and I will never let it happen again.
Please understand that I am speaking for the general public also. We know we blew it and we don't know how to make it up to you. We wish we had been there for you when you came home from Vietnam because you were a hero and you deserved better. Inside of you there is a pain that will never completely go away…and you know what? It's inside of us, too; because when we let you down, we hurt ourselves, too. We all know it…and we suffer guilt and we don't know what to do…so we cheer for our troops and write letters to "any soldier" and we hang out the yellow ribbons and fly the flag and we love America. We love you too, even if it doesn't feel like it to you. I know in my heart that, when we cheer wildly for our troops, part of the reason is trying to make up for Vietnam. And while it may work for us, it does nothing for you. We failed you. You didn't fail us, but we failed you and we lost our only chance to be grateful to you at the time when you needed and deserved it. We have disgraced ourselves and brought shame to our country. We did it and we need your forgiveness. Please say you will forgive us and please take your rightful place as heroes of our country. We have learned a terribly painful lesson at your expense and we don't know how to fix it.
From the heart, Julie Weaver 237 East Gatewood Circle, Burleson, Texas 76028-8948 (817) 295-6287 Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your belated apology. I was rewarded coming back from Nam by being spit on in San Francisco. I have never ever really felt a part of this country since that day. I am disabled and will be until the day I die. I did manage to work for some years but never felt like I was ever really in my own country. So now I left the USA and live in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. I feel like I am home here more than I did in the US. For any of my bros who feel as I feel, there is a pretty good VA Clinic in Manila and a contracted hospital in Subic Bay. Many of our brothers live here and are quiet happy. My neighbors are Americans and are quite happy here. We feel that we are a family here.
One of the first lessons taught by the US Army Basic Training Ft.Campbell,Ky in the summer of 69 was I was responsible for my own actions I could not speak for anyone but myself.and on it's heels the lesson that If I failed the rest of my people failed. Forgiveness is a personal choice.I cannot undo anything I feel was unjust --but I can ruck up and move on.I don't know Julie --can't say if she is sincere or not.I know more about Hanoi Jane Fonda and I do not believe she has ANY regrets of the harm she did accomplish. I cannot forgive Jane Fonda for there is no repentance. I can only say Julie has not been taught she cannot speak for anyone but herself.I can't speak for any other Vet But I have been honored to stand in their company.I was a Medic-- I am no hero-- I don't even qualify for anything other than what my 201 says- my fuzzy brain -well it is what it is. I just can't hold on to the red curtain any longer.I choose to forgive those who have brought fruit worthy of forgiveness.
thanks to Obama we see the corruption at the top those bastards get rich on wars there all planned, and use our kids as useful idiots to fill there pockets its all about money I pray for you guys you were used, one day they will burn in hell and good for that, go with God for sure you will be sitting at his side luv you guys now we have a domestic war in the WH it has been taken over and we all must pray and stand together and hope that our lord will have mercy on us all and give us a chance to show how much we luv the gift of this country, that he lets enjoyed for many years Amen
Julie, I believe it is a wonderful thing that you have now realized your personal mistake. It is difficult to reflect on the terrible past without thinking of the many who have suffered because the protests were flaunted while heroes were ignored. Forgiveness is an individual human characteristic that is sometimes difficult to elevate to such critical past endeavors. Therefore, it is often ridiculed extremely when one reaches a pinnacle such as you have. The truth is that society has not forgiven and the heroes have not forgotten. Many still carry the inward scars generated by the Insensitive Media engulfed with the demonic Vietnam creature. I praise my God through Jesus daily as I resume my daily chores, and I forgive those who may have trespassed against me, for they are weak while I know that I am strong. In the present there is victory against the demonic ones, for they still do not receive HIM as I have done all my life. I do not live my life as a Vietnam casualty because I know that my LORD expected me to protect those who could not protect themselves. And, just like the travesty in today's political agenda, Vietnam was a political failure, not a personal one. As commander of troops, I did my best to protect those that I commanded and those that I followed. Hoà bình
I was an MP at a little outpost just Northwest of Saigon in a place called Binh Loi. After that I extended 6 months at a time with a Military Intelligence Unit and did a total of 30 months in Vietnam. At the end of my tour I married a beautiful Vietnamese woman that I am still married to 44 years later, have three fabulous daughters and 7 grand kids. When I returned from Vietnam my exit from the military happened in California. California was a liberal mess at the time and while I was busy completing my exit papers I had to keep my wife locked up in a motel room for her safety as well as my own. That was my West coast experience. Our next step was a flight to upstate NY where we experienced a completely opposite experience. Being from a small town the Fire Department plays a big roll in community activities. The small town gave my wife and I a wonderful welcome home party.
Through the years I have maintained close ties to many of my fellow Vietnam Veterans friends. Our re-unions are rather small, as many as 15 of us have been getting together for 44 years with our families. They are all "brothers for life" and our kids call us "uncle." Out kids are best friends covering a number of states.
I have met many Vietnam Veterans outside of this circle of brothers. Many have fallen for the constant liberal talking points that claim the war was a total waste of time, money and precious lives. Because of my connection to the American/Vietnamese community through my wife's many Vietnamese friends around the country I came to know for a fact that the South Vietnamese communities never saw the war as the liberal portray it to be. Many lived under the horrendous Communist rule and they always saw the war as a liberation from those horrendous conditions, so much so that they refuse to fly the Communist Vietnam flag. You will always see them flying their South Vietnamese flags at their homes and at their thousands of businesses across the country. They literally HATE communism.
For my Veteran brothers who have been sold the liberal line that the war was a wasted of time, money and precious lives I can with full confidence tell you that is not how the South Vietnamese we were fighting for and with see it. After the war there were hundreds of thousands, perhaps near a MILLION who died at sea and in Communist re-education PRISONS. All those names on the WALL were not wasted lives. All those that came home seriously wounded, it was not a waste of time and money. There are nearly 1.2 MILLION Vietnames/Americans living and experiencing freedom, many of which are gainfully employed and raising their children as proud Americans.
To my brothers/sisters, wear your ribbons proudly and honor all your brothers/sisters who's names are on the WALL. Proudly extend you middle finger salute to those liberals who insist the war was a waste of time, money and lives. Thanks for listening.
Fort Mill, SC
PATRIOTISM, TRUE PATRIOTISM NEVER GOES OUT OF STYLE.....I BELIEVE IN THE BELOW, NEVER LET US FORGET IT.
This has been around for some time but I think it's worth going around again.
Once upon a time when our politicians did not tend to apologize for our country's prior actions, here's a refresher on how some of our former patriots handled negative comments about our great country.
These are good
JFK'S Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, was in France in the early 60's when DeGaulle decided to pull out of NATO.
DeGaulle said he wanted all US military out of France as soon as possible Rusk responded, "Does that include those who are buried here?"
DeGaulle did not respond.
You could have heard a pin drop.
When in England , at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of 'empire building' by George Bush.
He answered by saying, "Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return."
You could have heard a pin drop.
There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break, one of the French engineers came back into the room saying, "Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intend to do, bomb them?"
A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: "Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons
of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?"
You could have heard a pin drop.
A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of officers that
included personnel from most of those countries.
Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks, but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English.
He then asked, "Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?"
Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied, "Maybe it's because the Brit's, Canadians, Aussie's and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German."
You could have heard a pin drop.
AND THIS STORY FITS RIGHT IN WITH THE ABOVE...
Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.
"You have been to France before, monsieur?" the customs officer asked sarcastically.
Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.
"Then you should know enough to have your passport ready."
The American said, "The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it."
"Impossible.. Americans always have to show their passports on arrival in France !"
The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then, he quietly explained,
''Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find a single Frenchman to show a passport to."
You could have heard a pin drop.
If you are proud to be an American Veteran, pass this on! Those who scorned us, those who protested against our mission to save the people of The REPUBLIC Of South Vietnam from communist aggression, those who smoked pot while we fought and died if not in body with our minds, to those -- stay clear of us now. You are not allowed inside our perimeter !
I cried with the realization how much has been forgotten. There are those who did not study history. In not knowing it is easy to find fault.
Thank you Julie, better now, than never. I hope that one day the idiots and liars as John Kerry together with Jane Fonda and the likes will be punished for all they did to our veterans. That war was never run by military. It was run by idiotic politicians and I guarantee, that if the war was conducted like that in any communist country, those idiots will be shot with no regret for a treason. That propaganda and demonstrations ware of course run by Soviet Union and one of their agent was even bragging about his ability to stage demonstration with fifty thousand people any time he needs.
Like you I watched the TV news about what was happening in Vietnam. Difference is I had my dad yelling at the news caster calling them LIER! He had been in WWII subs so he had some idea of how things really work.
When you see a military person, tell them Thank You. . Regardless of their age and service they appreciate the thanks.
My generation was used and abused by the government. There are many ways some small some big to give them the support they deserve.
The past is done with. Today you can do something.
I really want to thank the Viet Nam Veteran, too. Julie says it right from the heart. At this time in history, we had only three major networks which were all influenced by the Communist Marxists in our society. Today, these same-minded people are called "Progressives". They have changed the name of the Communist Party when it was outlawed to anything that did not "sound" Communist Marxist to over forty different organizations like The Students for a Democratic Society, The Tides Foundation, The Weather Underground, ACORN, and a whole host of other names. They also infiltrated our unions including the NEA and AARP. The final battle ground has been not only in large corporations but in the different "arms" of our government like FANNIE MAE AND FREDDIE MAC to the point that our mortgage loans which were bundled in very safe 100-per-lot packages were all "salted down" with bad loans under new government programs that made loans to people who did not have to qualify according to good credit and ability to pay. So, we had the mortgage bust in 2008 which caused people associated with "home building" to lose their jobs--including carpenters, plumbers, electricians, appliance manufacturers, home decor companies, and a whole host of "spin off" companies. My family has suffered personal loss greatly without ever having done anything but be the kind of employee that is punctual, worked efficiently, were loyal to the company or the government agency for whom we all worked. We have suffered untold discrimination and have kept our mouths shut while trying to do the honorable thing and watching "crooks" defraud and lie to gain jobs, promotion, and political favors. It is way past time for the "pendulum to swing in the opposite direction". We no longer have to sit on the sideline. We no longer trust the mainstream media to broadcast the truth nor publish the truth. We no longer trust the educational system all the way to the top that has infiltrated our public schools with Common Core (Communist Core) and other "watering down ways" to dumb our children down--regardless of race. And we really distrust the military leaders who have fired over 200 high-ranking officers and filled our best positions with "weak soldiers" who are not manly nor as brave and strong as the type "men" who have always served bravely and patriotically as in the past. Our military has to be "reshaped" and bolstered as never before. After all, it has been the purpose of the Communist Marxist plans to "feminize" the Army thus making it weak. Also, right in the Communist handbook and training materials since the 1960s, one of the goals was to destroy Boy Scouts. Looking back, one can see where "girls" were admitted as well as "homosexuals"--both the 180- degree-opposite of the goals and purposes of "Boy" Scouts. The Communists wanted to "nip in the bud" the younger boys who were training to be Godly men and also a pool from which military leaders could arise--or any other "leader" for our country for that matter. Well, just look. The Communist Marxist goals have finally come to fruition. So, where do we go from here? We win as many people to Christ as we can--tough in this world with the atheists screaming any time we practice our religious freedoms. We have allowed the progressives to "pack" our courts with judges and administrative personnel with their own people who will, for fear of losing their positions, make decisions that favor the progressives. We have lost control of our courts from the lower levels all the way to the Supreme Court. It is time for a change. NOW HUG THAT VIET NAM VET AND TELL HIM WE ARE SORRY AS A NATION FOR NOT KNOWING THE TRUTH WHICH WAS WITHHELD FROM US BY THE MEDIA, AND TELL HIM WE NOW KNOW WHAT HE WAS FIGHTING AGAINST--THE EXPANSION OF COMMUNISM!!!! Now what some people are not acknowledging is that RICHARD NIXONdid not "play around" with the war. In other words, he "cut bait and fished". He "cut the head off the snake" on the Ho Chi Mhen Trail and quickly got us out of that "Hell Hole". Nixon was also pressured very badly by the fact that he knew that foreign governments were paying money into the Democratic Party and needed proof. Erlichman and Halderman took it upon themselves to "break into" The Watergate Hotel Democratic Party Headquarters to find the evidence, but they got caught. It was never covered in the news media what they were looking for--only that these men had "broken in" and were criminals. (It took me almost forty years to find out as I paid a lot of attention as to "why" a sitting president would suggest this action, if he was directly involved in that decision. He also may have just watched as these two patriots did what "needed to be done"--and we have had some marvelous men sacrifice in this manner just to do what is right--even though they have to commit what under normal circumstances would have been a crime and had to pay that price for our nation. Nixon said what they did was a matter of "national security", and if he could have found evidence and brought charges, I wonder if he could have stopped what we have today? Well, it was about this time that George Soros began to "fund" the progressives. He could "buy" political offices, because he was a multi-billionnaire by this time. He used the "Rules for Radicals" methods to cause "chaos", step in and be "the solution", create a government agency to address "the problem" that he had created, and make money by furnishing what was needed to solve the "problem". Yes, it has taken time for the truth to finally "get out to those that can and will understand" and admit to themselves that they can think for themselves about what is true, what is good, what is evil, and what "real patriotism" is. Our country was founded and has operated successfully on Christian and Judeo Biblical principles like those of the Ten Commandments and the many Commandments of Christ. Therefore, we have had the most blessed Christian nation ever to exist. We need a HUGE REVIVAL. We need people to get down on their knees and pray fervently for God to forgive us, strengthen us, give us wisdom and knowledge about what we are to do for Him and for The United States of America. Now see, www.therepubicfortheunitedstatesofamerica.com. Study what has happened and what is about to happen. Pray +++ And, Hug a Viet Nam Vet!!!!!!!!!!!!!