Vietnam Protestor Wannabe Syndrome

   That is the name I have for certain people, those who have been obsessed with the Vietnam War Protests and try to emulate them in a time when the specific war that was protested has been over.

   I first encountered such people in a few relatives and friends of theirs from my generation back in the 1970s when I was a kid and the early to mid-1980s. First sign was when they claimed they were victims and poor because they came from a bad neighborhood, this was bogus because a lot of the times they believed to be victims were actually when they screwed up and were being taught they were wrong, and the belief about being poor, they actually had more wealth than I or others did, but you couldn’t tell them because they would get violent when confronted with the truth. Over the years of this time, they slowly became worse as they looked for something, anything to fit with their fantasy, a thing they could protest against similar to Vietnam to keep their fantasy going.

   I saw this attitude continue into 1980s when I was a teenager with some people I met. During this time one thing that became clear to me, a lot of those suffering this sickness did so under the notion that it enhanced sex somehow. Apparently you couldn’t have relationships in their minds unless it was fueled by trying to emulate a protest of a war about 10 years old since it finished. It also appeared to encourage illegal drug use and the notion anything a government did was pure evil.

   It further continued into the 1990s especially when those I knew from the 1970s became part of my life again (I had distanced myself from them during the mid-1980s) and tried to rekindle, “that old feeling.” To make matters worse, such people wanted to inject their illness into the majority if not everyone and after being rebels previously, now wanted to join with politics as a means to force their fantasy on others regardless of anyone’s beliefs. It was one of many things I saw cause changes in the military service during the 1990s especially when I served from 1995-1999. I recall one incident clearly.

   In 1997, my unit was sent along with a bunch of other units to see a USO show involving 1 comedian, nothing else. Since it was peacetime, there was not much effort put into such shows like there is today. While we were outside the building this was to take place in, soldiers like civilians do stood around talking and one female soldier about 20 years old told a story of an encounter she had in town. She had gone to town in her uniform (soldiers do this at times for many reasons) and someone she encountered that she did not know spit on her and said, “That’s for Vietnam!” and walked off. From his comment, you would think he was one of today’s Liberals/Progressives/Democrats. Two things stood out to me when I heard this.

1 – This soldier was about 20 in 1997 meaning born around 1977, after Vietnam was over so couldn’t have served in it.
2 – This soldier was someone I knew who had more Liberal/Progressive/Democrat beliefs and was spit on by a Liberal/Progressive/Democrat.

   I still remember this story to this day, one of many strong experiences I have had in my life. It stands out to me again today when I hear a lot of people talk about keeping alive the spirit of Vietnam Protests and their goals. Such people do not seem to care this is a different age with a different set of issues and challenges facing us. They continue to inject this illness into their speech and behavior with terms such as, ’fair share,’ ’end justifies the means,’ and the all time favorite, ’illegal wars.’ I do not see where we need to keep such beliefs alive.

   This is not the day of the Vietnam War or the issues that were discussed and fought over back then. In a few years it will be 40 years since that war was over. Shouldn’t we have put all of it away and face what is going on right now instead of holding on to the fantasy, the almost rock star image some still have in their minds? Someone really needs to cure this illness before it makes any more people sick.

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