I remember the Spring of 1975. I was finishing up Law School, contemplating the Bar Exam, and finding a job. But all I could think about were the visuals on TV coming out of Saigon. The NVA was in its final push, and South Viet Nam was in its death throes. And there were the choppers on the roof of the U.S Embassy, and the endless lines of people trying to get out [Gary Trudeau did a great "Doonesbury" of it.]
I had been in Viet Nam in 1971. I was the S-3/ Training officer on a MACV team charged with training a newly formed ARVN Tank Squadron [the 20th] on M 48 tanks. I had worked closely with an ARVN instructional team from their Armor School at Tu Duc, the personnel of the 20th, and my fellow Team members. And as I looked at those images, all I could think about were those ARVNs. Men we had trained, men we had broken bread with. Men who had trusted us. And men we had abandoned.
I had left Viet Nam at the end of December, 1971. The first thing I noticed when I got home was that nobody wanted to talk about it. Nobody. But, I said "Don't mean nothin'", and got on with my life. Out of the Army in March, 1972 [RIF'ted], into Law School. But then came those visuals. And the U.S.A did NOTHING.
Flash forward to the present. The visuals are now of Iraq. The Al Qaeda that Joffrey, the boy President told us was dead is very much alive has taken Mosul, Tikrit and is driving on Bagdhad. By all appearances the Iraqi army , unlike the ARVNs, is not putting up any fight, as near as I can see, and running like hell. And the U.S is again doing nothing.
That's the wrong thing, but what can you expect from a government led by the likes of Barack Hussein Obama. Either they're ignoring history, or Iraq fits the plan. Because what came out of the fall of Saigon was a seriously dangerous world with a seriously weakened U.S for years.
But what I'm thinking of the most, are all those guys who fought and bled and survived watching all they fought for, and all the people they knew [or didn't -remember those purple fingers that first election day] falling to the darkness. I think I know how those guys are feeling. Takes me back to that helicopter pad...