A Sickening Sensation
We had a gathering at work today, and the talk turned to the various ways our country shows support for the military. And there are many, personal, and corporate...It is amazing and touching. It made my heart swell. And it makes me proud to be an American!
Talk then turned to the difference between the way it is now, and how very different it was during the Vietnam War Era. We talked about the civil rights climate, the political climate, the way minorities were funneled into the military, the way rank vs. soldiers were treated and behaved.
We also talked about how the returning soldiers were not supported or respected.
I am typing this now quite calmly, but as we discussed these things, I had a visceral reaction that included a churning stomach and weakness in my knees... The physical symptoms persisted for several hours, including an upset stomach for quite some time.
It was amazing to me that the younger members of our group did not have a sense of the political and emotional climate of the times. But, I am sure I did not have that sense of the 50s or 40s or the Depression Era...
I had no idea I would react like that... I do not think of that era often, and I guess I know why.
Years ago, my 6th grade class asked a member to ask his father if he would talk to us about his experiences on Iwo Jima, when we studied World War II. His response was there are some things you do not talk about. When my uncle, who was in the Navy during World War II, was asked about what he did in the war, he would say "I went to England." After his death, we found a commendation letter for his efforts during D-Day, signed by Admiral Nimitz.
I have to think it is true, that real soldiers do not want war. They know the horrors of war.