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Vietnam War

Vietnam War To many, the Vietnam War symbolizes controversy, myth and question in America. There are many events that made Americans wonder what reasons we had for putting our troops and families in Vietnam. Up till that point, many other Americans had never questioned the acts of the American government and armed forces. Issues dealt with in the Vietnam War showed great impact on the American people, particularly the students. American involvement started off very low key. Two marine battalions landed in Da Nang on March 8, 1965 (Doyle, Lipsman).

They were not fighting a war yet, though a war was going on in the very country that they were in. Their job was to merely protect an air field in Da Nang, not look for trouble or initiate any kind of war tactics. But soon, holding off the enemy was not so easy for the American soldiers, and more troops were sent in. This continued on, and when May rolled around there were 46,000 American Troops in Vietnam (Doyle, Lipsman). It was at this time when American troops were then given the “permit to use more active defense,” and soon after, the number soared to 82,000 American troops in Vietnam (Doyle, Lipsman).

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From there, the American defense quickly turned into an offense, and transportation flights turned in to rescue missions. This was about the time that Americans at home began to become worried that the war in Vietnam was getting out of hand. Small protests broke out amongst college students across America, but these began to become very serious. On April 17, 1965 The Students for a Democratic Society organized a national protest on the steps of the capitol in Washington D.C. (Doyle, Lipsman).

Television coverage enraged people by misleading facts and disturbing war images of troops killing women and children. Frustration in America grew and riots and protests got out of hand as no questions seemed to be answered. Students protested and gathered, building rage against the war spurring events like the Kent State Massacre. The Kent State Massacre is named after a calm protest uprooted when guards killed and wounded students by opening fire on a mass of students as they gathered on the Kent State campus (Encarta). Events such as the Kent State Massacre enraged Americans more than ever causing violent riots and outbreaks. Meanwhile, America’s position in Vietnam worsened.

More and more were sent, and more and more troops were killed. America’s great offense was tattering down and guerrilla warfare on unfamiliar terrain hampered soldier performance. The war then quickly switched over and put more weight on air attacks and bomb raids. Helicopters became America’s best friend as they were a brand new invention that had not previously seen much use. The helicopter made landing and exiting in rough terrain easier than any other method seen before by the United States military. Other weaponry made its debut in the Vietnam War. Spurred from the second world war, where tanks were introduced, the anti-tank missile launcher was a key weapon for all countries to develop. The Vietnam War was the first war that the anti-tank missile launcher was effectively used.

Standard guns also were changing; they become lighter in weight, more accurate, and able to function better with less maintenance and malfunction. All of these new, and newly perfected, weapons made the Vietnam War an unfamiliar territory for everybody as the death toll soared through the roof. More troops were sent, more black troops. Racism raced through the veins of many white Americans at this time, and blacks still felt discriminated against by the government and the people of America. All of this as more black troops were being put on the battle front to fight.

Black gangs erupted and dodged the draft, became violent, and held to one another very closely. This was the first sign of gangs in America, as we see gangs today. Many black Americans did not understand why they were being force to fight and die for a country that hated them. They felt as if they were being sent in place of whites, but in fact only 12.5% of all troops in Vietnam were black, and it was merle stretched facts and media influence that caused the black eruptions in America (Westmoreland, VHFCN). As America boiled, the “photographers war” continued in Vietnam (Cohen).

The Vietnam War has been said on countless occasions to be the most photographed war in history. The reason for this is the development and improvement of the camera. The camera had become small enough and agile enough to be carried almost anywhere. Also, with the fire burning in America, the media was raping the troops of their dignity as the photographers followed them everywhere. Disturbing pictures were sent back to the press and media in America for public coverage, giving the public its first ever visual images of war. Unable to handle these shocking of images of troops killing ruthlessly, America continued to rage.

The war rolled on through 1972 and Americans wondered if it would ever end. An end was soon to come, as peace talks began, on January 23, 1973 president Nixon announced the end of U.S. involvement in the war in Vietnam (Cohen). America took a deep breath and let down it’s arms, but the tension was still there along with the grieving loss of young men. The Vietnam War was very confusing, especially as it was going on. The American public did not have answers, and were frustrated with the constant loss of family and friends.

“No event in American history is more misunderstood that the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now. Rarely have so many people been so wrong about so much. Never have the consequences of their misunderstanding been so tragic. (Nixon, VHFCN)” This quote by president Nixon may be one of the most well said statements about the Vietnam War that I have ever heard.

The war was so chaotic that there was no time to give any answers, or find any answers; this gave the media a big loophole to deceive the public. Only now can we look back at the facts and correct them as we teach what is right and give back the pride that we have taken from these veterans. The most logical way that I can possibly confront the “facts” of the Vietnam War is to do just that. I am going to end this report with some facts to help fix what might be misinterpreted or confusing about the Vietnam War. Because I believe that there are men and women, dead and alive who deserve the gratitude of the American public to atleast know the truth.

I will do this by addressing what could be defined as myth, confusion, misreporting, and misinterpreting, and show you the statistics that will prove these embarrassing thought wrong, and give the veterans the hero image that they deserve. Myth: American soldiers were addicted to drugs, and feel guilty for their actions and role in the Vietnam War by using cruel and inhumane acts. This is not true, 91% of all living Vietnam veterans say that they are proud that they served their country, 74% would serve again knowing that there would be the same outcome, and 97% of them were discharged under honorable conditions (Westmoreland, VHFCN). False: Vietnam Veterans resemble the homeless population in American and are more likely to be in prison. This is an incorrect statement, in fact, Vietnam veterans are less likely to be jailed and only .5% of them have been jailed for crimes. 85% of Vietnam veterans have made a successful transition to ordinary life (Westmoreland, VHFCN).

The myth of all American troop is also incorrect. two-thirds of all men who served in the Vietnam War were volunteers; that’s just the opposite as W.W.II where two-thirds of the men who served were drafted (Westmoreland, VHFCN). “Approximately seventy percent of those killed in Vietnam were volunteers (McCaffrey, VHFCN).” Another myth is that the suicide rate of Vietnam Veterans is higher than non Vietnam veterans, but in fact it is not as bad as the media portrays it to be. There have been reports of 50,000 to 100,000 suicides among Vietnam Vets, when 9,000 is a more accurate number (Houk, VHFCN). The number 100,000 is absurd.

Black Americans were not a target of the American government to be used in place of white troops. In fact, of 541,000 men and women who served in Vietnam, 86% were Caucasians, 12.5% were black, and 1.2% were of other races (Westmoreland, VHFCN). These may only be a few small facts that are a grain of sand when you look at the whole war. But these issues are those that were the heart of the fire in American youth when the war was in action. These were the issues and answers that may have prevented things such as the Kent State Massacre.

To all of the Vietnam Veterans, the country that they supported, their families and friends; to those who died in or after service, to those who are still alive and carry the memories of war with them every day, a memorial for them has been created. Its groundbreaking ceremony was held on March 26, 1982. The memorial has 57,929 names inscribed in it of those men and women who never came home from Vietnam (Ashabranner). A diamond after a name means that he/she was accounted for at the end of the war, a cross after a name means that he/she still is not accounted for. Also, the right is reserved to put a circle around the cross of any person who becomes accountable for, but a circle has yet to be put on the wall.

The groundbreaking ceremony was held on March 26, 1982. The memorial has 57,929 names inscribed in it Bibliography Ashabranner, Brent. Always to Remember. New York: G.P Putnam’s Sons, 1989. Cohen, Steven.

Anthology and guide to a television history. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, inc., 1983 Doyle, Edward, and Samual Lipsman. America Takes Over-The Vietnam Experience. Boston, MA: Boston Publishing Company, 1982.

Microsoft Encarta Complete Interactive Multimedia Encyclopedia. Computer software. Microsoft, 1995. CD-ROM. Vietnam Helicopter Flight Crew Network. www.vhfcn.org.

2000. Westmoreland, General William C. Address. Third Annual Reunion of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association. Washington D.C., 5 July 1986. McCaffrey, Lieutenant General Barry R.

Address. Memorial Day. Washington D.C. May 1993. Houk, Dr. Address. Hearing before the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Unites States Senate one hundredth Congress second session.

14 July 1988.

Vietnam War

Vietnam War Vietnam War Before the U.S. went to Vietnam, twelve years before the war started, the French were there, it was their colony. The French controlled the country. Northern Vietnam wanted to make their nation Communist as China was probably their influence. The people of southern Vietnam wanted the opposite.

It was a typical tropical climate in Vietnam. South Vietnam urgently asked for immediate and extensive help from the United States. As the struggle progressed the U.S. Government made a decision to send troops to South Vietnam. This was how they ended up fighting beside the U.S. military.

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Fighting aircraft and army helicopters flew to South Vietnam. (They flew from U.S. aircraft in the South China Sea. Their major objectives were to keep peace before war erupted. However, keeping the peace did not work. The battle began, which meant time for three thousand more troops, more accurate machinery and high radio frequency links.

“The word Vietnam has evoked powerful and often contradictory images, and the lessons drawn have dictated answers to the most pressing questions.” The Vietnam War occurred roughly thirty-five years ago. When researching the Vietnam War, one may expect some confusion. To this day, the United States remains confused about the war and exactly how it ended. We, as a society and economy, lost thousands of soldiers and billions of dollars. However, when viewing the bigger picture, a small outcome of the whole thing.

The United States also gave up a gigantic victory. The Northern Vietnamese Army won the war. Not only was it a horrible scene but the invasion capped the nations eyes and hearts in 1968. During the fight, the United States military did not know how the South Vietnamese were going to react to the bombings. You are maybe asking yourself a question, “Why or how did the South Vietnamese settle on the United States terms?” After the Joint Chief of Staff accompanied the city with practice bombings, the United States troops invaded Cambodia and Laos. The Vietnamese were not prepared and they could not resist.

For a long period of time, United States troops were finding people underground hiding from the practice bombings that were going on. On a regular day in Vietnam, you could hear the sounds of Vietnamese voices in the cool air, everyone was always busy and life seemed so smooth. If it werent for the cheap radios, the workers outside would go nuts, every second you would hear, “boom, boom, boom!” Bombings began in the morning and would not stop, sometimes until five oclock the next morning. The cities were distracted and Vietnamese people lived like heathens during the war. In city doorways, there were already homeless refugees lying around. Army Panchos were made so they could sleep comfortably on the hard ground.

Most of the time, families had lost complete protection of other family members. Mothers tried their best to huddle their children and make sure the shelter was good and safe. Many children relieved their guardians and went into gutters around the city. Down inside of the gutter was nothing but wild dogs fighting rats over rotten garbage from the sewage. Most Vietnamese people survived without food and only a little water.

The South Vietnamese were with the United States military and they made an effort to get food and water from us. Overall, at the end of this tragedy, over a million troops and innocent people were dead. First of all, what were we in war for? The United States of America always goes to another country to either help someone with financial problems or to negotiate something with other governments. We made a big mistake and I hope they have learned from it back in Washington D.C. One of the most terrible moments that happened during the war was when the U.S military came out with the technology to sniff out the human smell.

They would put it on the front of helicopters and do sweeps over the jungles. If they got any human readings, they would call in the attack bombers, which would drop napalm (Jelly Gas), for total destruction. This shows the tactics used by the US. The U.S. was just bombing blind.

We are known for taking over land during wars. In the Vietnam War, we didnt want any part of it at all. After our soldiers would take over, we would kill everybody and didnt care. It affected our nation mentally and physically. A big problem at this point was who was the enemy in this picture.

Fact: “America dropped more bombs in Vietnam than they did in World War II. In fact, it was three time as much.” Many say the reason that happened the fact the military did not have any targets in the Vietnam jungles, only guesses. The U.S. was involved with the war before many people thought. The U.S.

had taken a stand for the French long before the Vietnam War. “The United States was deeply and critically involved from the very beginning, commencing in October 1945, and from the outset the war was, to a major extent, American as well as Frencheven though the U.S. public did not realize this.” These countries were not the only participants of the United States diplomatic support. Paris had some word to share also. Luckily, it was not against the United States. It seems when you have so many countries involved in one agreement; everything seems to fall off.

As the years progressed, wars went on. The part that hurts the most is innocent people, not just American soldiers, died without knowing what they where fighting for. American troop casualties were the most killed ever in a war. We actually came out pretty good with fifty thousand deaths. The Vietnamese people lost millions and as far as the French in the earlier years, you can double the million. “Till this day we celebrate Veterans Day for all of the casualties and the ones that are missing in action.

After Vietnam when the United States retreated they left behind many soldiers. Now many are dead and some are just a mystery in another world. Army soldiers were pressured throughout the war for many assignments. Sometimes a lot of soldiers would get really angry, or even frustrated with their head man in charge. A funny part is that it makes me wonder if it was all involving a political show down between two Americans. It was all that mayhem for the United States government.

In conclusion, the Americans left Vietnam with their heads hanging down it was nothing to be happy about. The deadline for the United States troops may have been the most exciting thing to ever happen in Vietnam. The last American soldier left in Vietnam were captains and majors and senior sergeant leaders. Americans were an army of a half a million strong until the end. One day there was a courtside hearing in Vietnam towards the end of the war.

A military leader explained that Vietnam is inactivated at this date and its mission and functions reassigned. We had to explain it next to the South Vietnamese. When Southern Vietnamese found out they were screaming with joy. It is now 1999 and we still have not learned from our mistakes. Sometimes I wonder if we were the bad guys in the fight.

We bombed others without really going over the country taking care of business. Like the war we are in now in Kosovo. We hit China and many people got hurt. What are we over there for is my question. Are we bombing these countries properly? Why cant our government make negotiations and solve it there? Many times we do have to solve our problems by war, but is it going to solve anything?.

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