|March 30th is Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day|
Proclaimed on March 7, 2011 by the US House and Senate
Before I get into my post about the Veterans, I want to call your attention to the fact that Thursday, March 31, is the birthday of Cesar Chavez. An Icon of strength and courage in the labor movement as leader of the United Farm Workers. He's rolling in his grave today as the union busting idealogues strip the rights to bargain for working conditions and benefits from the working class people while adding millions to the larders of the rich.
Read about Cesar Chavez Right Here.
Now, for my take on the above logo and what it stands for:
The title doesn't mean I'm unhappy about the designation for March 30th to be Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day. It means that a valiant attempt was made at changing history, but no one paid attention.
Earlier this month, the US Senate approved a bill that proclaimed March 30th to be Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day. This was approved in the US House in 2009. I have no idea what took the Senate so much longer, but then again, it took the House only 36 years.
The Treaty of Paris was signed on March 30, 1973, the last troops left Vietnam on April 30, 1975. To World War II Veterans, June 7, 1941 was "The day that would live in infamy". April 30th 1975 was ours.
What the title is saying is that this valiant attempt to place some honor into the lives of the Vietnam Veterans was a miserable failure. There was no press, no TV or radio spots and I didn't see much of anything on the blogs except on the Facebook page of one US Marine Gunnery Sergeant named Eugene Curry, who heads up page after page of information about Agent Orange, the killer, with his Sprayed and Betrated, Destined to Die posts.
It was a miserable failure beause those of us that have survived don't give a shit anymore, and those that did are dead from the effects of Agent Orange, wounds received in battle, alcohol, drugs or suicide. All we need do is look into the eyes of one of our Vietnam Veteran Brothers and know the real horrors of war.
We're damned if we do and damned if we don't. If we say anything about war and combat, we're liars and making it up to get attention. If we say nothing, we are generally put into a pot that says, "They must have not seen any action, they're not talking about it."
If we wear military regalia, a Vietnam Veterans cap or a vest with unit patches on it, we're judged as warmongers. If we don't, we are judged as ashamed of the good ole' US of A. If we complain about Agent Orange or PTSD we are crybabys, if we don't, we get nothing in the way of care, understanding or benefits. Care, by the way, that was promised us when we enlisted or were drafted.
It's a fight every day of our lives, at least in our minds. I wouldn't wish the thoughts that eminate from my brain on anyone for any reason. The anger, the violence, the self pity, shame, guilt, fear, loathing and confusion that has leached me of anything serious and contemplative. I wish you peace daily as I know I'll never see it.
As I write this, I am seething because I am unable to make anyone understand. In fact, I accept the inevitability of loneliness as I struggle to be understood. I'll leave it here for now. This is what really lives in my mind. I just hope that someday someone will pay attention and stand up for the men and women that do the bidding of society, that'd be you, the people. You are the ones that allow the government to send people off to war.
You foreigners, from the UK, France, India, Australia, Canada and elsewhere, your countries are doing it to you as well. Ask any soldier from your own country and they'll tell you the same things I am. War is not the answer, and amusing us with a promise 40 years too late to say Welcome Home and Thank You is not amusing at all.
Here are two articles about the Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day. The first may make you feel good, The second, is more like what has happened to this event in real life.
The YouTube video is about the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975.
Turn your volume way up and hear the anthem of our lives, Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son"
So, instead of a welcome home for us, say Welcome Home to those Vietnamese and Hmong immigrants that had to leave their homes because we failed to do what the American war in Vietnam was supposed to do, that is, keep their country a Democracy. Welcome them here to our shores instead of hating them and discriminating because they are of Asian descent. Do the same with the Bosnians, the Somali people, the Cubans and other people from lands across the globe. Don't forget the South Americans that can't come here because they sided with what they knew to be right as we trained their armys and police to kill civilians at the School of the Americas.
Now you have an idea of what is in my brain, how I really feel, the rage these motherfuckers evoke in me. I was pushed to the edge when I saw this grand proclamation. All this as I continue to fight for rights and benefits that were suppose to be earned on the battlefield. Sorry. Too little, Too late, but thanks just the same.
“You've never lived until you've almost died, for those who fought for it; Life has a flavor the protected will never know” Unknown
Still, I wish for you Peace