I spent this afternoon watching The Long War of John Kerry and thoroughly enjoyed it. I know "enjoy" is not synonymous with war but it is the man I am most in awe of. At 27 years old John returned from Vietnam & decided that he was not going to just sit back grateful he made it out alive, but instead empowered so many seriously wounded men (physically & emotionally) to send a clear anti-war message to the Nixon administration. And to have what little strength left after witnessing the tragedies of war, to protest against sustaining the war was just amazing. I have not doubt that it was what John & his fellow veterans did that actually helped give some meaning to many veterans who returned home to what seemed like a wall of disassociation. What a shame John missed out on the Presidency by so few votes. Bush, rather than Kerry, the latter having received recognition for saving the lives of some of his fellow troops. Then having to be put under a microscope of suspicion by the Nixon administration, and have the so-called counterfoil employed to tarnish the good work John was doing to help the veterans find their voice to call for the end of the war.
I recall when my father returned from Vietnam there was no flag waving, or thank you's. Instead we (children) were subjected to nasty little comments from teachers who really knew nothing of what or why our fathers were in Vietnam, along the lines that our fathers travelled overseas to meet people & kill them. I just hope that teachers of this era are more diplomatic about their views when in the presence of children whose parents may now be in Afghanistan, East Timor, and the likes.