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31 October 2005

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Thanks for bringing back something We've edited out. I turned 14 in 1970, I lived in Monterey and for the next few years a lot of vets drifted through. I encountered quite a few elsewhere in the coming decade.

One thing I recall was a frequent desperation to talk, often not war stories, but just the psychic results of the experience. I was a bit torn myself, from things independant of sciety and the masive angst. But I remember how these partial expressions from vets would tear through me, also the need and in some cases the gratitude that someone could hear a bit.

We as a nation tended to close them off in the time they most desperately needed it. Not just the left, but the right as much and the silent majority wanting silence. A lot of vets half hid the fact of their service.

Then somehow Rambo "won" the war though it's my understanding the great patriotic hero spent his time teaching at a girl's school in Switzerland and suddenly 20 year old kids were talking about their time in "Nam." It was suddenly cool.

But one of our big shames is that we as a people turned away from these vets. And I expect we will do the same for Iraq. People don't want to know the consequences even of a "good war." I've encountered a few WWII vets who couldn't let go and of course grew up around a lot more who remained silent.

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