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Session 17

  Messages 9-8 deleted by author 07-21-2006 08:59 AM
Randall Fleetwood
04:33 AM ET (US)
Regarding Mr, Owens article "The Lies They Tell,And The Stories They Leave Behind". To respond to the idea that 19 was the average age of casualties with another average age does nothing to inform the public about this issue. It leads one to believe that it could be possible given the age range in the military, ect. The average being 22+ is correct but when the fact that 60%of the casualties were ages 17-21 and 40% were 22-62 is added the true picture starts to appear. The age 19 myth is impossible. Is it a myth that the very young died in disproportionate numbers? Why not address this issue?
Mike Chace
06:13 PM ET (US)
On the whole, I was deeply confused by the war. I felt it did terrible things to the country from which it did not recover for more than a decade. I came back to Cambridge to find it a very changed place than when I graduated from Harvard College in 1963. I saw the B School go out on strike and went to the rally in Harvard Stadium. At that time Harvard had 12,000 students including the grad schools. Harvard Stadium that afternoon was full
of 20-30,000 people. I always wondered what vocal majority had superseded the will of or at least was purporting to speak for those Cantabridgians who actually were there.
A large number of my friends in the class of 1963 at Harvard College went to war. Many chose the Navy as their branch of service and many of them went to the far east. As far as I know, all of them served honorably and
returned with dignity and seem to live productive and contributing lives today. I did not personally know anyone who was killed or wounded, but have subsequently met families whose lives were unalterably changed by the loss of a brother or son who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Sadly, I find that those friends of mine who went underground or participated heavily in the counter culture and its promise of Elysium, often had more of a problem re-integrating into post Viet Nam America when they found their Elysium did not exist, than we who served. Of those who went into the drug culture, many are still today just as much permanent casualties as those who were seriously wounded in Viet Nam itself.
On the other hand, with the current situation in Iraq, one
interesting legacy of Viet Nam may be that we are so exhausted by or unwilling to re-live those times that we as a nation are now also unwilling to take a stand when such a stand may be more justified than it was then. Who knows?
Two generations ago our grandfathers struggled to raise their children in the greatest depression; our parents produced us while they lived and died in the greatest of wars and we began having children during an unpopular
war in which our nation suffered a its first defeat on the battle field and a major upheaval at home. What will our children and their children face and have we done enough to prepare them? The answer to that will be the true test
of whether we have succeeded or failed.
Edited 07-16-2004 06:16 PM
Bill Laurie
01:10 AM ET (US)
William Owens' piece quite good. A factual error however: approx. 2.6 million served in VN, another 600,000 or so off-shore or Laos or Thailand(Korat, Takli, NKP Air bases and others). Larger 8.7 million is about number of people who served in the military during that period. See book CHANCE AND CIRCUMSTANCE for estimates of who served where. These numbers order of magnitude, not precise counts. Error does not in least detract from substance or validity of Owens' views.
Bill Laurie
01:53 PM ET (US)
Courtesy dictates apology for misspelling Mr. Zlotnik's name. Extended herewith.
Bill Laurie
01:51 PM ET (US)
Amerasians indeed a very sad and tragic subject. Folks can help by donating to Pearl Buck Foundation-should come up on any search engine-in, I believe, Buck's Farm, Pa. They do very constructive work w/Amerasians throughout Asia and, as Mr. Zlotnick has indicated, these children, many now adults, have a very tough life. Isn't fair. Help if you can.
Donald E. Zlotnik
10:05 AM ET (US)
Seventeen Sessions and not one mentioning the thousands of Amerasian children we left behind to a life of absolute degragation.

Shame on those soldiers who fathered these children and out of shame allowed for them to stay in Vietnam and be degraded for the rest of their lives because they are half-American.

Speaking of a pool of potential terrorists, who should hate America.
Stephen ShermanPerson was signed in when posted
04:01 PM ET (US)
I welcome your comments to this session where we will review the conference as a whole and summarize the advice, suggestions and actions brought forward by the participants. My email is sherman1@flash.net if you need to contact me directly. If you include a phone number, I may find it easier to return your call. To return to the Session page go to http://www.viet-myths.net/Session17.htm
Edited 04-20-2004 09:35 AM

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