Vietnam remembered – Local veterans reflect on wartime experiences

By DEBRA DUNLAP

April marked the 50th anniversary of the first American troopers arriving in the Vietnam War and the 40th since the last troops left the war-ravaged country.

Four Montague County Vietnam veterans got together recently to reflect on their wartime experiences and how their lives were forever changed.

The first American troops arrived in Vietnam in the spring of 1965 as a result of the escalation of the United States involvement in the extended conflict between North and South Vietnam.

The last American troops withdrew 10 long years later, after the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975. During this conflict more than three million people, including 58,000 Americans, were killed.

In 1985, Richard Nixon was quoted as saying, “No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now.”

Even today, decades after the end of the Vietnam War, there are still as many opinions on America’s involvement as there were before the first soldiers’ feet hit the jungle soil.

April marked the 40th anniversary of the final withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam and the 50th year since the first troops arrived.

Looking back, the politics and opinions of the day are just not important. What matters are the lives lost or forever changed of the young Americans who obediently and bravely served in that war.

Read the full feature in your weekend News.