#AtoZ 1968 – “V” is for Vietnam

“You’re going to get a concept that maybe this really is one world and why the hell can’t we learn to live together like decent people.” ~ Astronaut Frank Borman, on seeing the entire earth from outer space as he and the crew of the Apollo 8 returned from orbiting the moon.

Vietnam 2

It would be impossible to write anything about 1968 without including Vietnam. More than 3 million people were killed (including over 58,000 Americans). The war bitterly divided Americans.

The series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick is worth watching, as it details the history (back to the end of World War II) that led up to the conflict, and has interviews with those who fought and those who opposed it.

By 1962, the United States military presence in South Vietnam had reached some 9,000 troops, compared with fewer than 800 during the 1950s. By June of 1965, 82,000 combat troops were stationed in Vietnam, and by November 1967, the number of American troops there was approaching 500,000.

Class was always the domestic issue during the Vietnam War, not communism. ~ John Gregory Dunne

Vietnam

By March 1968, Johnson promised to seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Peace talks opened in May 1968 but soon reached an impasse.

I covered the Vietnam War. I remember the lies that were told, the lives that were lost – and the shock when, twenty years after the war ended, former Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara admitted he knew it was a mistake all along. ~ Walter Cronkite

A to Z badge 2

BONUS MUSIC!

Here’s the #6 song from Billboard’s Year-End Top 100 Singles of 1968

“Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream

11 thoughts on “#AtoZ 1968 – “V” is for Vietnam

  1. Anybody can write about the Vietnam Era…
    But the unfortunate guys like myself that lived it….. will never forget
    From –
    The first whiff of human feces burning in diesel fuel , to your friend getting shot in the head and watch the eyes roll back …. to being told to take off my uniform on the plane to return home, .as there were violent demonstrators at the airport and our safety was at risk.

    I have a vivid memory of one elderly lady clutching the hand of her granddaughter yelling …Baby Killer… while her piercing eyes burned my to my core.

    I am a Vietnam Combat Veteran , shot twice , infantryman on 30 day search and destroy missions in Binh Dihn Province.. 2nd heaviest area dioxin sprayed area of operation in all Vietnam. Even now the US will not even go there to test the soil…while my only water supply was the blue line…. streams carrying the toxins..

    49 Years later … 2 miss-carriages, 3 children with the expected birth defects after exposure… bilateral cleft lip & palette.. hypospadias… kidney disorder…. ocd…. adh…autism and a failed marriage…. carrying the guilt for not providing a normal life for my wife and family.. … to finally suicidal ideation as no one can or will ever help me.

    I would have gotten plenty of support …if I lost limbs or was visibly effected by my service, But my wounds can’t be seen or understood by a society that has no patience, compassion or support for true understanding the depth of Our War Crimes.

    So feel bad…write what you must…
    but the scars will never heal for me and will be carried by my sons in generations to come.
    If you read to this point…thanks for listening.
    I am writing a book … title “Just Say Your Sorry” …
    Thank you for your service is a trigger for me, as it is an affirmation that what I did, who I killed, and what kind of life I’ve provided was righteous. It wasn’t and the book will explain in detail.
    Lefty

  2. The big biggie of the 60s indeed Martha. Sad time in our history. So much death and destruction, and that quote reads right on — all about class not communism. Just like Iraq was really not about a dictator.

  3. Fog of War, a documentary about McNamara’s xperience, is another good movie. I meant to watch it again after the Ken Burns doc, but I was truly burned out by then.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s