Not Logged in.
Book Jacket

The Things They Carried


The classic, ground-breaking meditation on war and the redemptive power of ...
More about this book
Author Biography

What was your experience of the Vietnam War? What other wars have occurred in your lifetime, and how has the experience changed from conflict to conflict, in your view?

Created: 03/04/20

Replies: 20

Posted Mar. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2732

What was your experience of the Vietnam War? What other wars have occurred in your lifetime, and how has the experience changed from conflict to conflict, in your view?

What was your experience of the Vietnam War? Were you enlisted, or do you have any friends or relatives who were in the military during the Vietnam era? If so, have you/they spoken about the experience? What other wars have occurred in your lifetime, and how has the experience changed from conflict to conflict, in your view?


Posted Mar. 07, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Tired Bookreader

Join Date: 08/19/11

Posts: 172

RE: What was your experience of the Vietnam War? What other wars have occurred in your lifetime, and how has the experience changed from conflict to conflict, in your view?

The Viet Nam war was going on when I was a teenager. Stories were on the news EVERY night and casualty counts were ongoing. The Iraqi War was also updated often with a weekly death count. Now there is little mention of any conflict this country is involved in. And, if not for Jake Tapper, we wouldn't know of any deaths, no names or incidents...shameful.


Posted Mar. 08, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorinned

Join Date: 10/13/14

Posts: 128

RE: What was your experience of the Vietnam War? What other wars have occurred in your lifetime, and how has the experience changed from conflict to conflict, in your view?

I was in my 20's during the Viet Nam war. I was not involved, nor was anyone else that I knew at the time. I would describe myself as a passive observer to the events of that war. I was a child during World War II and it affected my family in that we were all engaged in the war effort. It affected our day-to-day lives, with rationing and shortages, with friends and family going off to fight in the war. My father was a farmer and we had German war prisoners working on our farm one summer during the war. Later wars, such as Viet Nam, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, have not really affected my life as World War II did.


Posted Mar. 08, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rosemaryk

Join Date: 08/29/11

Posts: 61

Our war

The Vietnam War was at its peak when I was in college. I did all I could to oppose this dreadful war.

Unfortunately, other wars have occurred (and are still going on) in my lifetime. The Persian Gulf War was very brief, and I think many people thought the wars that followed would also be short. They were WRONG. I don't think we will ever again be without war in our faces.

The Tim O'Brien book has positively impacted me. His account includes everything. Although not an actual memoir, it certainly reads like one. I appreciate having read this amazing account.


Posted Mar. 08, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carmelina's Gravatar
carmelina

Join Date: 08/04/11

Posts: 6

RE: What was your experience of the Vietnam War? What other wars have occurred in your lifetime, and how has the experience changed from conflict to conflict, in your view?

I lost a cousin, an Air Force Captain on his 1st mission. Was shot down over Laos.
His younger brother was a Marine, he came home all messed up.
So to me when I think of Vietnam I just get so sad!

My husband lost his older brother in Korea.


Posted Mar. 08, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 527

RE: What was your experience of the Vietnam War? What other wars have occurred in your lifetime, and how has the experience changed from conflict to conflict, in your view?

Carmelina, so sorry to hear about your losses. The war definitely destroyed a lot of young lives.

I was thirteen when Saigon fell in 1975. I knew it was going on, but it really didn't enter my consciousness. Looking back now, I'm shocked that I didn't pay more attention, even though I was young. I had an uncle who was enlisted, but to this day I don't know if he was drafted, if he volunteered, if he went overseas, what he did... I guess I should get on the stick & ask him while I still can!

My husband enlisted in the Air Force to avoid the draft. He spent his years in the service at a radio post in Alaska, thank goodness, but did have many friends who fought & died during the war.


Posted Mar. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckys

Join Date: 08/12/16

Posts: 125

RE: What was your experience of the Vietnam War? What other wars have occurred in your lifetime, and how has the experience changed from conflict to conflict, in your view?

I was just a child when the Vietnam war was going on so most of my knowledge has come from movies and reading about the war.. I have always seen it as a war that should have been prevented and in which so many young men were scarred emotionally from the horrors that were committed in Vietnam. I think we have become totally desensitized to war in our society now. The conflict in Afghanistan is rarely even mentioned anymore.


Posted Mar. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyh

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 297

RE: What was your experience of the Vietnam War? What other wars have occurred in your lifetime, and how has the experience changed from conflict to conflict, in your view?

I was in grade school during the WW!!. Most of it was not real to me. My sister's husband was killed parachuting into France and is buried at Normandy. I remember my Mother and Sister saving sugar coupons for canning. I was in high school during the Viet Nam war and really did not know what was going on. I remember the protests against it and no one wanting to fight in it, Later, I worked with a man who had been there and he always said "he wanted his parade" instead of being "booed"


Posted Mar. 14, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ritah

Join Date: 05/26/11

Posts: 62

RE: What was your experience of the Vietnam War? What other wars have occurred in your lifetime, and how has the experience changed from conflict to conflict, in your view?

I was in college at the early stages and, then, starting a family during the Vietnam War. I specifically recall walking into my house one night when a newscast was showing soldiers walking through the jungle. I think the story was something about an attack on them either while they were in the city or in their quarters. Anyway, I was struck by my thoughts and asked my dad who was a WWII vet and was watching the program the following question: Dad, correct me if I am wrong, but a big difference I am seeing here is that I always thought that during WWII, you knew if you were in safe area or in enemy territory and in this one, the soldiers never know when they are safe. My dad said I was absolutely right. I think this book underlines that fact and that is a big factor in the insecurity which they try to fight with humor, even if it is gross humor (shaking hands with a corpse) and which many could never recover from.


Posted Mar. 14, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ritah

Join Date: 05/26/11

Posts: 62

RE: What was your experience of the Vietnam War? What other wars have occurred in your lifetime, and how has the experience changed from conflict to conflict, in your view?

I was in college at the early stages and, then, starting a family during the Vietnam War. I specifically recall walking into my house one night when a newscast was showing soldiers walking through the jungle. I think the story was something about an attack on them either while they were in the city or in their quarters. Anyway, I was struck by my thoughts and asked my dad who was a WWII vet and was watching the program the following question: Dad, correct me if I am wrong, but a big difference I am seeing here is that I always thought that during WWII, you knew if you were in safe area or in enemy territory and in this one, the soldiers never know when they are safe. My dad said I was absolutely right. I think this book underlines that fact and that is a big factor in the insecurity which they try to fight with humor, even if it is gross humor (shaking hands with a corpse) and which many could never recover from. I now have had 3 sons and a nephew fight as Marines, in the Gulf War, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan. I have another nephew returning to Afghanistan as I write this. Thankfully, all are alive.


Posted Mar. 15, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
BuffaloGirl

Join Date: 01/13/18

Posts: 127

RE: What was your experience of the Vietnam War? What other wars have occurred in your lifetime, and how has the experience changed from conflict to conflict, in your view?

I was in high school and college during the Vietnam War and remember the daily TV newscasts bringing it into our home. I still have the copy of the newspaper with the headline that the war had ended. I fortunately didn't know anyone at the time who was serving in Vietnam, but since then have come to know many men who served. I have great admiration for them.

Vietnam was never a declared war. Since then all of the conflicts America has sent our military into have been undeclared wars. I do think that our country learned a lesson from Vietnam; that the individuals serving in the military in Vietnam did not deserve the scorn that was heaped on them by certain citizens when they came home. I hope the people that did this are ashamed of themselves. They had no conception of and sadly did not care what our military went through over there.


Posted Mar. 17, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cindyj

Join Date: 06/26/18

Posts: 22

RE: What was your experience of the Vietnam War? What other wars have occurred in your lifetime, and how has the experience changed from conflict to conflict, in your view?

I was in elementary school during the Vietnam War. My cousin was in the navy and stationed on a ship off the coast of Vietnam. But what I remember most was that I was in a car accident with my parents in 1967 and the man driving the other car that caused the accident was killed and his wife was seriously injured. Later that year their son was killed in Vietnam and I felt so bad for that family. Both families kept in touch for years.


Posted Mar. 17, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cindyj

Join Date: 06/26/18

Posts: 22

RE: What was your experience of the Vietnam War? What other wars have occurred in your lifetime, and how has the experience changed from conflict to conflict, in your view?

I think it is important to note that for many years afterwards Vietnam was not considered a war, but was called a conflict. As a result veterans of the Vietnam War were not eligible for some veteran benefits. I find this really sad.


Posted Mar. 18, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bettiet

Join Date: 03/11/20

Posts: 3

RE: What was your experience of the Vietnam War? What other wars have occurred in your lifetime, and how has the experience changed from conflict to conflict, in your view?

One way our lives changed during the Vietnam War era: We used to watch the news during dinner. But the night that a Vietnamese man was shot at close range was the last night we ever did that. Later on, during high school, we all wore bracelets for the POW's.


Posted Mar. 20, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
KelHydra

Join Date: 08/05/19

Posts: 17

RE: What was your experience of the Vietnam War? What other wars have occurred in your lifetime, and how has the experience changed from conflict to conflict, in your view?

I wasn't born until 1984, so I don't have any personal experience with the Vietnam war, but the first time I remember becoming aware of the concept of "war" was the Persian Gulf War ('90/'91). I remember watching on the news the green, I guess they were tracer bullets?, flying across the dark skies and then plumes of orange and yellow light as bombs blew up in the cities. Thinking about that still makes me feel queasy.

Since then, I think wars have become more remote and removed from the eye of the general public. Even though we have the 24-hour news cycle now that really kicked off after 9/11, we really do not get much information about the atrocities of war until long after the fact.

I run a fiction book club at a local bookstore and cafe, and I'm hoping to pick a book soon that will help to contextualize the US war in Afghanistan by reading fiction. I'm not sure if people (in general) realize that this war is still going on because we don't really hear about it anymore. With the recent treaty between the Taliban and US the situation in Afghanistan has the potential to deteriorate rapidly. I have a friend who teaches university in Central Asia, who has many Afghan students, and he told me that his students are terrified about what will happen. It's such a complex situation, and reminded me of the things I've read about the Vietnam War.


Posted Mar. 22, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joang

Join Date: 05/17/12

Posts: 81

RE: What was your experience of the Vietnam War? What other wars have occurred in your lifetime, and how has the experience changed from conflict to conflict, in your view?

Graduated HS in 1963, nursing school in 1966. It was "our war". Most of the young men who graduated HS then could either enlist and chose their branch, be drafted or attend college to defer service. At the conclusion of college they were then classified 1 A and subject to the draft. This was prior to the draft lottery. Almost all of the young men in my life, as in immediate social circle, served and went to Viet Nam. Fortunately, all came back. Some with physical issues and many with emotional issues unknow to their friends as they did not talk about the war. My brother-in-law graduated from West Point in 1965. One of the classes with the largest loss of life to the Viet Nam Conflict. He later taught at West Point and only rarely could the cadets get him to say anything about the war.
I have nurse friends who also served. No physical issues but the emotional issues are there. I am especially interested in reading about women in war. The women, especially the nurses, are not as well studied as the men. Recognition and benefits slow to come.


Posted Mar. 22, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joang

Join Date: 05/17/12

Posts: 81

RE: What was your experience of the Vietnam War? What other wars have occurred in your lifetime, and how has the experience changed from conflict to conflict, in your view?

I have a special place in my heart for all veterans! Thank you all for your service!


Posted Mar. 23, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marianneh

Join Date: 03/09/20

Posts: 4

RE: What was your experience of the Vietnam War? What other wars have occurred in your lifetime, and how has the experience changed from conflict to conflict, in your view?

I remember, as a kid, being in the living room with dad listening to Bears game. Then came the announcement of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. So all of WWII was a part of my life. By the time of Vietnam I was already a parent. The reaction to this was so different. We were united as a country during WWII. Vietnam was a divisive war... there was so much anger while our young men were dying. To think, now, of all that divisiveness and anger here while lives were being lost... to read here of the horror for those over there... In many ways the anger undermined the sacrifices and horror these YOUNG men were facing is as difficult to think about today as it was then.


Posted Mar. 23, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marianneh

Join Date: 03/09/20

Posts: 4

RE: What was your experience of the Vietnam War? What other wars have occurred in your lifetime, and how has the experience changed from conflict to conflict, in your view?

I remember, as a kid, being in the living room with dad listening to Bears game. Then came the announcement of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. So all of WWII was a part of my life. By the time of Vietnam I was already a parent. The reaction to this was so different. We were united as a country during WWII. Vietnam was a divisive war... there was so much anger while our young men were dying. To think, now, of all that divisiveness and anger here while lives were being lost... to read here of the horror for those over there... In many ways the anger undermined the sacrifices and horror these YOUNG men were facing is as difficult to think about today as it was then.


Posted Mar. 29, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Suzanne

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 280

RE: What was your experience of the Vietnam War? What other wars have occurred in your lifetime, and how has the experience changed from conflict to conflict, in your view?

My husband volunteered to go to Vietnam while in the Marine reserves. He was 28 and volunteering at that age was somewhat unheard of. He was gone for 16 months that time and returned to war twice after. Yes, he talked a lot about his time there. He still is in contact with many of those men he served with. He was in helicopter squadrons, often flying medevacs.

My husband also served in the Gulf War. He was among the advanced party, six months before the beginning of the war in January,1991.


Posted Mar. 30, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
brendad

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 5

RE: What was your experience of the Vietnam War? What other wars have occurred in your lifetime, and how has the experience changed from conflict to conflict, in your view?

I was in college and then a newly married young woman who very selfishly hoped that my new husband would never be drafted. I still have the MIA bracelet that we purchased as a remembrance of those who didn't come back.


Reply

Please login to post a response.