I served my country in 1966, by joining the United States Marine Corps. in order to go fight in a so called; "police action" halfway around the world, in a country that had no Navy, no Air Force, except for a few Russian MiGs, a large Army of infantry from the North, and a lot of farmers by day, and guerrilla fighters by night, and I still believe there were a lot of Chinese mixed in among them.
At the time, I felt it was my patriotic duty to join up, and to go fight against Communism, because I was being told by my government that communism would be here in America next, if I didn't. To this day, I don't know how they would've gotten here.
Anyway, I went, and a lot of good young teenagers I knew, and served with as "brothers in arms" died over there in a place called Vietnam. I had realized within the first month I was there with the 1st Marine Division, I had made a big mistake, and we as a country did not belong there. A lot of innocent people were dying every day, who had absolutely no concern for a war in which their government had decided to begin. France was there before America got involved, and for 20 years or so, they had tried to make a democracy work in South Vietnam, but they had finally given up, and pulled out.
Now, it was America's turn to try and wipe out communism, infiltrating into the southern part of Vietnam like a cancer, before it spread to the United States next. My father and his father before him were raised during the 1st and 2nd World Wars, and had become very patriotic, while raising me to be the same, which is very understandable. These were both inevitable wars that would have eventually involved the entire world order during this period of our American History.
However, Vietnam would prove to be a dramatically different kind of situation, and would end up lasting longer then any other war involving America, and cost more American lives then could have ever been imagined, along with a countless number of severe life threatening injuries, and critical disabilities to our fighting forces, made up mostly of young adolescents. It would prove to be the most horrible, relentless military conflict the United States had ever been involved in, and hopefully would never be involved in this type of warfare again.
Forty years later, I am buying Van Hussein shirts made in Vietnam, proving to me that I had fought, and risked my life in a senseless war, where many Americans just like me had sacrificed their youthful lives, so we could lose jobs here in America, and begin to buy our shirts made in Vietnam today.
Furthermore, you have to consider how America had once supported Osama bin Laden with arms to fight the Russians in Afghanistan, shortly after the war had ended in Vietnam. Later on, since he turned against America through his involvement in the 9/11 disaster, we are still attempting to track him down as our number one enemy, along with his army of followers. America had also supported Saddam Hussein when his country was at war with Iran, after the Ayatollah had overthrown the Shah of Iran, who at the time was our friend, and ally for many years. A number of years later our President decided Saddam Hussein was now a threat to America, and needed to be squashed, and overthrown, costing many more American lives.
Actually, I am quite surprised more people are not protesting these present day senseless two wars going on halfway around the world, continuing to terminate more and more precious American lives. Lyndon Johnson thought by starting our military involvement in Vietnam, he called a "police action" so it wouldn't sound like a war, would profit our country to regain its prosperity, and cause an economic upswing. In fact, the war in Vietnam had eventually made Johnson's home State of Texas the richest State in the country during his rein in the White House.
You can bet, that if our government enacted the "Draft" again in this country, like they had done during the war in Vietnam, there would be a "boo-koo" (Vietnamese for a lot, or many) number of people protesting these two wars, including most college students across the country. Instead our government chose to send our National Guard and Reserves to fight along side our short-handed, regular enlisted military armed forces in these two unnecessary wars halfway around the world again, both duplicating another Vietnam era.
Now, our government is even sending fathers, and mothers of children to die for our country to prove what? With many more of them coming home crippled and critically wounded for life, so someone, or most likely an already rich quadrant of people in America, can once again make money on these "police actions" of modern day. I wonder when we'll be buying shirts made in Iraq, or Afghanistan, if not already?
John M. "Jack" Selby