Let us all remember what Memorial Day is about. It’s fine to have family and friends get together for a meal and have fun, but…
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I have often wondered how the Vietnam War protesters think of themselves today. We were brought back in the middle of the night to avoid a large crowd of protesters, and yet there seemed to be plenty of them to call us names and do whatever they wanted to. I came back in early September to Tacoma Washington. We were escorted behind a screen barrier to keep Veterans and protesters apart. We were all wide eyed and nervous of all things moving so fast. Most of us were just a few hours out of the field and needed time to get our legs back under us from the 20 plus hour flight back to the world and adjust to the modern surroundings. People were screaming Baby Killers and I can remember one woman, maybe a few years older than me, looking me in my eyes and asking me, how did it feel killing those little babies? Other young men and women started chanting, Baby Killers, Baby killers. I tried to get at them by pushing the barrier and the large MP’s grabbed me and made me move along. The protesters then started chanting, military fuzz, military fuzz. I had not killed a baby nor would I have and it hurt bad to have people think that. I just wanted to get back home to Alabama and to see my family and still had a long way to go.
I think I could speak for most, if not all, that we didn’t want a parade or flowers , heck we were from separate Units and branches of service. We each left our units and were replaced by individual replacements. A thank you might have been nice, because some of us may have kept some of the protesters that certainly didn’t want to serve, from serving.
We just did as we were told, get out of uniform and blend in to society. I can tell you that it was harder than it would seem to those to whom had never been in combat.
Yes, I often wonder if those protesters ever think of the hurt that they caused that will remain with us Vietnam Veterans for a lifetime.
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