I'm not old enough to remember Vietnam, and I don't know anyone who was there so my knowledge of it is limited, but I do know that there was enough dissent with the war to spark huge protests, some of which turned into riots, and that the Vietnam war had casualties over here as well as over there. I know that when we finally got out of there, our soldiers who had worked so hard to do what they had been trained to do, who had followed orders and been traumatized by the horrors of war, received a less than warm welcome from many people, because of the rogue actions of a few and because of policy decisions they had nothing to do with.
I think our country is smarter now. I think we've grown and learned from that experience. I think that we are smart enough to support our troops without agreeing with the reason why they've been placed in harm's way. I think we've learned the ability to disagree with the war itself without directing that feeling at the soldiers who are fighting it. I mean, these are young kids who have been brainwashed, in a way, or at least programmed, by their government, by our government. One cannot blame them for following orders, indeed one should hope that's exactly what they would do, and I feel glad that we as a country seem to be able to make that distinction now.
I think it's important to let our troops know that even if we don't want them there, even if they themselves disagree with why they are there, that we still love and support them. It's easy to lump them into a nameless, faceless category called 'the mililtary' while they are fighting overseas, but when they come home and distribute themselves across our country, they are our parents, our siblings, our spouses, our neighbors and our friends, and they deserve to know that even though we may not support them as the long arm of a misguided Imperialist being advised by a trigger-happy Secretary of Defense, we do support them as the people who make up our community and our country, as the people we know and love.