Take Gordon Duff, a Vietnam War Marine combat veteran and regular contributor to Veterans Today.
What Duff [that's the crazy SOB in photo] lacks in subtlety, he makes up in commitment and candor. From Duff's latest:
Who are these folks we see, festooned in vests and ribbons, all screaming for war against someone? Are they real Vietnam vets, aging holdovers from a disastrous war? Having spent 40 years as a Vietnam veteran, I have a pretty good idea. NO! ...
I served in an elite Marine combat unit that was 100% against the war. Everyone in Vietnam was. Why? We lived like pigs, ate slop out of a can and were killed or blown apart in numbers our current troops could never understand and thankfully will never have to.
Even the guys in the rear were worked to death, many of them. There weren't the tens of thousands of mercenaries and kitchen workers there. It was about filling sandbags and 'burning shitters.'
Everyone was sick or wounded and still in the field. During summer, we looked like skeletons, many covered with sores, some with active malaria (me). ...
Chances are you were angry. Marines called the Corps, "the crotch." When Marines quit complaining, it was a sign morale was down. No, I am not kidding.
Full Metal Jacket gives the feel pretty well. Someone must have actually 'been there.'
I have a couple of friends left. I have many now gone. They are good people, hard working and the same people I trusted with my life long ago. I do their complaining for them as I am the only one who can type. I don't spell so well, went to the wrong colleges, I am afraid. ...
At recent count, the majority of those who served in Vietnam are dead. A few years ago, only a million of the 2.4 million were still alive. Last year the number was 813,000. Death through chemistry and neglect is my diagnosis.
Current troops are told, in training, that we were a pack of bums. For kids serving now who have parents and grandparents who served in Vietnam, I hope they speak up. I would like to see someone ‘talked to’ maybe. How can a kid listen to this kind of crap when his father fought in Vietnam and may have been the reason he chose to serve? What is the military thinking? Oops. I said ‘military’ and ‘thinking’ in the same sentence.
What was I thinking.