Just a note via email from Charlie Shyab.
Just a note this morning. When the reunion members attended the celebration at Ft Sam Houston last month a speaker referred to the Vietnam War as “nation building.” As we close in on the golden anniversary of our service in Vietnam it occurs to me that we are relics from another era.
Most of the senior officers in today’s army were not born in the late 1960s. They do not have a clue about what we experienced. The Army of today can’t connect to life without a computer, GPS systems, drones, and radar guided missiles.
The army of today does not have an idea as to why WE got in bunkers when WE called in artillery. They do not understand why WE went weeks without taking off our uniforms. C Rations are something you see in a museum. (Order of the P-38 members; wear your P-38 with pride. You will need to explain what it is to today’s soldier).
Today’s soldiers do not connect with leaving home and not being able to call, email, or Skype with friends back home. The Vietnam War rates one paragraph in modern high school history textbooks. I will note, however, that as was the case at Ft Sam, we have been honored guests on the Army posts we have visited. So, as we take our place alongside the mounted Calvary and the doughboys I’ll say it one more time:
“I’m proud I served in Vietnam. I’m proud I served as a medic and I’m proud I served with you.”