1.What was your experience with the Vietnam War and how did it impact your life?
The veteran provided some very interesting insights regarding his experiences as a veteran of the Vietnam War. Historically, this war was a challenge for the American people and the soldiers who fought on the front lines day in and day out. From this experience, the veteran indicated that he was proud of his service during this war, even though he was surrounded by the loss of many of his friends and fellow soldiers. As a survivor of this war, he is grateful, but he will always remember what the war meant to him on a personal level.
The account of his experiences was important because it demonstrated the impact of the Vietnam War not only on his life, but on the lives of millions of people in Vietnam and the United States. This period in history addresses a sense of vulnerability and intimidation that is not often considered because the leaders of this era fought a difficult and complex war that cost thousands of lives that was unnecessary and only served to alienate the United States even further in many ways. I was enlightened by the interviewer’s comments and his perspective regarding the war effort and his role in the process.
- How do you view the Vietnam War and its place in history?
The veteran indicated that he views the war as a game changer in American History and although he does not fully understand the reasons for the war effort, he stands by his service and continues to share his experiences with others who want to listen. He believes that although it was a war, there is much good to be recognized in the form of service to one’s country and a dedication to the task at hand. The veteran believes that this is a significant opportunity to evaluate this period of history not as a negative force, but as an enlightening experience.
To this day, he remains proud of his commitment to the armed forces and his service during the Vietnam War. From a historical perspective, this war was the longest and perhaps most costly for the United States in terms of its reputation and the necessity of the war to begin with (Rosenberg). Therefore, this interview sheds some light on the Vietnam War effort and its overall impact on US military personnel. As a person who did not live when the Vietnam War took place, I believe that this historical period in our nation’s history has much relevance and continues to be significant in the 21st Century
3.What are some of the lessons that you learned as a veteran of this war effort?
The veteran indicated that he learned much about friendship and commitment to a cause during this war. He also noted that he understood that this war has significant historical ramifications for the United States. At the same time, he believes that the war, in spite of the casualties it brought to the table, was a positive and eye-opening experience for the United States.
Based on the veteran’s comments and independent research this war was perhaps the first time that African Americans were asked to join the military to fight for their nation in a free manner (University of Albany). This was a very important change for this war as compared to past wars and provided a greater opportunity for people to join the military to fight for their freedom. At the same time, the war left many people dead and others forever traumatized by their experiences (Vietnam War).
- What was most surprising about the war in your eyes?
The veteran explained that when soldiers were not in combat on the front lines, they actually had fun and enjoyed each other’s company, in spite of missing their families and friends back home. He was surprised that he made so many good friends and that he has been able to remain friendly with many of these people to this day.
I was most surprised during the interview that the veteran focused on much of the goodness of the war if any good could come out of this experience. For example, he addressed his experiences in relation to the pride that he felt in fighting for his country. He even smiled when recalling some of the friendships that he made and noted that several of his closest friends from the war effort are still living and keep in touch. This was perhaps the most important revelation from the interview because in spite of the chaos and turmoil that was Vietnam and the pain and suffering that was caused to millions of people, the interviewee recalls this part of his life with pride above all other emotions.
Rosenberg, Jennifer. “Vietnam War.” 26 April 2013: http://history1900s.about.com/od/vietnamwar/a/vietnamwar.htm
University of Albany. Vietnam War. 26 April 2013: http://www.albany.edu/history/HIS530/afamsoldiers/VietnamWar.html
Vietnam War. “Effects of Vietnam War.” 26 April 2013: http://vietnamwar3.tripod.com/id1.html