And FF 40yrs….killing babies is en Vogue by those who had screamed about it…Interesting thread. It's a quirk of history that so many of us who served in the military after the My Lai incident and subsequent scorn of our fellow Americans didn't talk much about serving for quite a few years because we were all branded as 'baby killers' simply because of our short haircuts.
During 1970-71, I was merely an MP sentry dog handler guarding Nike Hercules missiles near Edgewood Arsenal, MD and thus have no claim about combat. The absolute LAST thing I'd ever do is make such a claim because it does an extreme disservice to those who experienced the intensity of combat in Vietnam (or anywhere else, for that matter). As a soldier serving in that timeframe, I met a number of young men who HAD served in a combat arms MOS over there and it was commonly accepted that for every man in the field (infantry, artillery, MPs, engineers, mechanized units, etc.) there were supposed about 10-11 rear echelon support troops making certain the grunts had what they needed to fight.
Now, after the elevation of veterans following 9/11 and follow-on combat tours, it seems like an inordinate number of veterans claim to have served in the bush. Hmmmm. I'm certainly not going to challenge their service because other than demanding to see proof (DD214), it's a fool's errand to try and verify what someone says about their service. Lord love 'em for serving our nation in any capacity for a greater good, like the Peace Corps or USAID.
One of the great ironies, to me, to come out of Vietnam was the Studies & Observation Group (SOG). For those who don't know the acronym and what it stood for, I found it enlightening that these SF soldiers were some of the bravest men in the field, often operating behind enemy lines "studying and observing" troop movement along and nearby the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Do yourself a favor and read some of their stories.