Did you get a chance to see the Traveling Vietnam Wall Memorial? The Wall That Heals” came to Vero Beach from Washington D.C. and was on display at the Vero Beach Military History Expo at the Indian River County Fairgrounds. Vero Beach was one of the first stops of their 2017 nationwide tour!
I was in middle school when the Vietnam war started. My brother served in Vietnam, near the end of the war, and when it started many of my friends’ older brothers and sisters were serving in Nam. It wasn’t a war that people chose to be in, they were mostly drafted. A concept which my nieces and nephews and my own children know very little about. When I started my career in the Tech Industry, almost all of the Engineers that I worked with in the field were Vietnam Veterans. These were young men in the mid to late 20’s. Very few of them ever spoke of their service there. It was not something they were allowed to be proud of in those days. I always thought that was wrong.
I remember a good friend of mine having a terrible time adjusting to life after his service in Vietnam. A car back firing on the street could send him running in sheer panic. It was the first time that I actually got to meet women who served in the military. Most of them were nurses, and there stories were hard to listen to. It was a war that tore our country apart, young versus old. When it was over, many of us hoped we would never again see another war in our lifetimes.
I feel, like so many of my contemporaries, that Vietnam Vets did not get the respect and honor they so rightly deserved at the time. I think it’s only right and fitting that we honor them now. I did not get a chance to go and view the wall this time. Other family issues prevented that.But I know many of you did. It would be nice to hear what you thought and felt as you visited the Memorial.
Cindy Fletcher for the Exchange Club of Vero Beach