Small Wars Journal

To Honor Our Vietnam Veterans, Help At-Risk Afghans Today

Wed, 11/10/2021 - 7:11pm

To Honor Our Vietnam Veterans, Help At-Risk Afghans Today

By 

As we reflect on American military history on this Veterans Day we can draw a simple parallel between our attempts at peace with honor in both Vietnam and Afghanistan. The chaotic and tragic end to both wars has much in common. However, a major difference is that there was no “decent interval” between the declaration of the end of the war and the collapse of the military and government in Afghanistan. We are still seeing the effects play out in Afghanistan. What is most heartbreaking is that so many were left behind in both countries who suffered at the hands of despotic regimes. But what is heartening is that great efforts were and are being made by veterans to evacuate people in the hope of giving them a better life.

A major difference between Vietnam and Afghanistan is the treatment of veterans at the end of war. Vietnam veterans were treated in despicable ways by Americans from being spit on to being called baby killers. Since then a “thank you for your service culture” has arisen that has all but eliminated public displays of disdain and disrespect. On the other hand, what remains a common trait of veterans of both wars is their desire to help those left behind. Talk to both a Vietnam and Afghan veteran and they will tell you about their service with their allies and the relationships they built through their experiences fighting a common enemy and their desire to ensure the safety and well-being of those they fought with and fought for.

Access the essay on 1945 HERE.

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Tue, 11/23/2021 - 9:41am

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