The Vietnam War
While America was involved in the Vietnam War long before the large influx of troops in 1965, it was in that year America was recognized as involved. So today I’m writing about coming home from the war. But I’m not writing about coming home those many years ago, right after the war. No I’m writing about the thousands of Vietnam veterans that buried the memories of that war.
For many of us the war has been over for almost five decades. So when I say coming home I mean dealing with the memories of a war that drove a wedge between those who fought there and our peers back home. History points to a home-coming for that war that was abusive and as disrespectful as it gets.
The experience had caused the Vietnam veteran to retreat in a false shame that the society of the time had imparted on them. Many returning sons and some daughters, form that theater, fell by the wayside. The war had claimed them mentally and emotionally. Yet the majority despite the social climate went on to live functional and productive lives.
The question for them now became dealing with the demons of war. Those being, the experiences and memories that remained ever burned into their souls. This for me being one of the many, finally came to a head in 2003. My children now adults, finally began to ask questions. As adults, their understanding of the war, came from books and media rather than from me. They began to understand why their father seemed so distant and hard at times.
I’m sure my wife of now forty years always had questions about that time, but never asked. Frankly I’m amazed that she endured and stayed by my side all these years. Maybe it was that fact that her father was a corporal in the Japanese army fighting the Marines during the battle for Okinawa. Yes I met and married an Okinawan girl after my war.
For me, I had finally decided that after a long Marine Corps Career and dragging my family from duty station to duty station, it was time to come clean. Maybe it is the years creeping up on me and being fed up with the demons of war that I decided to tell my story. So finally it is done almost. I have completed my first book of three about my tour of duty in Vietnam. For anyone who thinks this was an easy task, it was not. Of course I’m not talking about my fellow patriots who fought there as well, they know the story.
Black Dragon Red Sun is part one of a trilogy. The second is started, with the third to follow. Why three books? Simply, it is because I served with three different battalions there. My hope is not only that I leave my story behind for my family, but for posterity as well. It is not just my story alone, but it is the story of all of us who served there.
By: Roger Sanchez, Gysgt, USMC Retired