Some Cannot Forget

The Vietnam War Purpose: To illustrate my view on the Vietnam War. Audience: Anyone with an interest in the Vietnam War. Some Can\'t Forget I awaken and bolt upright in bed, my heart racing and sweat beginning to bead on my forehead. My chest heaving with ragged breaths, I try to figure out what startled me out of sleep. Then I hear it: The terrified scream of my father piercing through the eerie silence. My heart skips a beat and I shuffle my feet under the covers, letting them fall off the bed and land on the carpet. I start to push myself up, but then hear my mom\'s voice slowly drift down the hall as she tries to awaken and comfort my father. "It\'s okay. You\'re home. You\'re okay. It\'s over." A sigh escapes my lips and I lay back in bed, pull the covers to my neck, and desperately hope to fall back asleep. Another nightmare of the Vietnam War. I could never in my wildest dreams even begin to imagine having to experience something with such controversy and horror. But my father was there and it is still with him today, almost thirty years later. As most people know, there was an extreme amount of debate over the Vietnam War. There were protesters in the streets and marching on the White House lawn, preaching about peace and civil rights. Young men were fleeing to Canada to escape the draft, while others freely volunteered to join the service. Even though the war was in Vietnam, the fighting spirit could be found all over in the cities of the United States. I understand the opposition to the war, because technically it wasn\'t even our fight. It was, after all, within the country of Vietnam. But the reason we intervened was because the South Vietnamese government asked us to fight the communism that was trying to take them over. While most people knew this, I don\'t think they fully understood it or even cared. All they knew was that people they loved were being sent off to a foreign country to die. One thing that I really don\'t understand is the way that the Vietnam veterans were treated after they returned home. These soldiers were fighting for our country, doing their duty to serve and protect. They were not the ones who started the war, so why should they be blamed for it? Most of those soldiers did not have a choice in the matter. Either they were already in the service, or their character prevented them from dodging the draft. Regardless of whether they volunteered to fight the war or not, they should never have received such treatment. Instead of being praised for serving their country, they were yelled at, beaten, and disgraced to the point where they had to remove their uniform just to be able to walk down the street in peace. The veterans were already going through enough trying to get over the horrible experience and they did not need to come home to that kind of demonstration. Unfortunately, our soldiers were given a very bad reputation by the press. Countless articles talked about civilians and children being killed by the "merciless and relentless soldiers." One point is that Vietnamese people look younger than they really are. A twenty-year-old man would look like a twelve-year-old kid based on the American experience. So when the pictures came back with a bunch of dead Vietnamese soldiers that looked like kids, it got out of hand and our troops got labeled as baby killers. Another point that a lot of people don\'t know is that civilians and children were killed, but it was in self-defense. I know this only because my father was there. I have heard the countless stories about children being trained to use hand grenades, cribs being booby trapped with the babies still in them, and a mother running with her child as a shield while she fires her gun at an American soldier. So it wasn\'t that our soldiers were just going on a mad craze, shooting and killing everything in sight. They did what they had to do to survive. And if it was shooting a three-year-old child because he was walking