39 Years ago, on this date, March 30th 1973 the final troops were withdrawn from Saigon, leading to it's disastrous fall. I was in a young teenager glued to the evening news watching the reports. It wasn't like today with 24 hour feeds. I cried. I cried for a lost war, for 58,000 lost American lives, for the returning military to a nation that changed and wanted no part of them anymore after demanding they give their all and more. I cried for the lost stature of the United States in the eyes of our enemies and the future that faced those who we abandoned in Asia.
Our military men and women were returning home silently and disappearing into the cracks of society, while others fell completely into oblivion in medical facilities or homeless, forgotten. There were no homecoming parades. Government for decades denied Agent Orange syndrome and vets were dying without proper treatment or compensation. Those that wore their uniforms home were spat upon and called baby killers, so many took their uniforms off, grew their hair long and tried to forget a failed war, indifferent society and an incompetent government.
Some veterans of previous conflicts called the returning vets cry babies and hypochondriacs. PTSD was not even recognized as was the cancers and other illnesses caused by Agent Orange which was completely denied and criticized. No parades, no media coverage honoring the heroes, no one to say thank you! Eleven years of a war and this nation tried to forget and ignore.
Yesterday, by Executive Proclamation, President Barack Obama declared March 29th Vietnam Veterans Day. Finally, this nation recognizes these veterans who were either drafted or volunteered to defend the interests of these United States of America. Finally this nation is saying THANK YOU! Thank You and God Bless each and every one of you, this nation owes you a debt that can never be repaid!
Watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzOj160dKl8&feature=colike