I don’t want these Marines and soldiers and sailors and airmen I live with to suffer the morale-destroying disillusionment. I was an Air Force brat in Japan last time. My school bus drove past the Pacific Theater Graves Registration Transfer Point at Tachikawa every day. Stacks and stacks of zinc coffins being moved with forklifts. The casualty list took up the entire back page of the Pacific Stars and Stripes. Big green ambulance buses. Wounded on cots in the hospital hallways, IV bottles hanging from rods attached to the cot. Walking wounded in neon blue pajamas on pass at the BX. And nobody was glad to see the Chaplain walking in their housing area in Class A’s. My father was stuck in Korea, caught up in the Pueblo Incident. We didn’t get Walter Cronkite. What I knew of the Vietnam War I did not learn from American television.
I don't want to go through this again.
I was a cadet when Saigon fell. The psychological wounds of the men who trained me were to a certain degree contagious.
It's happening again. Will it work again? We see it coming this time. We have blogs and talk radio and Fox News this time. Will we be able to stop the stab in the back this time? Can we do for the veterans of this war what we failed to do for the veterans of that war? Can we spare the veterans of this war the anquish of knowing that the people and society for whom they bled, sweated, cried, killed, and watched friends die, were not worth the sacrifices made for them?
I’m not optimistic. It will take an effort similar in intensity to the concerted campaign that got the amnesty bill killed. It will take the big hitters of the blogosphere to hit the big talk radio talent with a clue bat to generate the phone calls and emails to defeatist Senators whose minds are made up no matter what General Petraeus says. It will take hundreds of thousands of motivated, engaged, articulate callers, commenters, emailers and letter writers. Does my side have that many?
It’s nut cutting time. Yellow ribbon magnets on the back of your car ain’t gonna get ‘er done.