Culture of war - vietnam Lauryn Kenney

The impact of the Vietnam War on America's beliefs, values, equality, and culture is said to be the most influential of any war in history.
While U.S.'s soldiers were fighting head-on in Vietnam, the citizens of the free country back home were on the brink of riots and protests against the act of war. they had begun the Hippie era, turning from war to the prospect of peace. Despite thousands of U.S. troops dying for their country, it's citizens believed that fighting was not the answer, and provided little support for it's troops.
The United States used hi-tech war tactics against Vietnam, using bombs, artillery, helicopters, etc. to defeat the enemies. They raided and attacked innocent villages, or forced them to leave. Vietcong's tactics were to disguise as townspeople, before ambushing U.S. troops.
At home, the United States was going through it's hippie stage. Combined with the fact that the war put a strain on the economy, it lessened the attention to it's citizens, and the unfair discrimination within the drafting policies, the people were very against the acts of war with Vietnam, and offered little support.
Music during this time was very purposeful and patriotic, made both to bring the country together, and to push the people against it's own country. Bob Dylan created many reflective songs during the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam war, including a song called "With God on Our Side", which represented the naivety and irony in both sides of war believing that each has God on their side. John Fogerty and Creedence Clearwater Revivials also created "Fortunate Son" in 1969, which depicts the unfairness and discrimination within the draft of american during the war. This music was the fuel to the flames of the civil unrest already within the U.S.
The propaganda during the Vietnam war was media-based, and often digital in the form of radio broadcasts. However, the most impactful and influential propaganda was once again anti-war posters and media. The Uncle Sam "I Want Out" poster is a re-creation of the Uncle Sam "I Want You" poster from World War I when the U.S. government attempted to get more citizens into the draft. "I Want Out" depicts the other unseen side of the draft and war, and it is more aimed at the government to show the citizen's perspective, and is the most famous piece of propaganda from the Vietnam war.
Although the majority of the country silently agreed with the political and practical choices of America during the war, those who didn't found the strong ability to make their voices heard much louder than ever before with art, riots, and broadcasts, so the minority of americans that were protesters were heard louder than the agreeing majority. most of the rebels were students, hippies, and drug-users who believed peace was better than war. On October 21, 1967 nearly 100,000 people gather, at the same place Civil Rights activists gathered nearly 4 years previous in Washington, DC, to protest the American involvement in the Vietnam war.
Following the beginning of the Vietnam War, the U.S. began implementing more strict rules and policies in order to support it's army overseas. However, these new rules and policies had a negative effect on the American citizens, as the disapproving number showed little support for their country. The government decided to deport troops into Vietnam, and despite 2/3rds of the U.S. troops being volunteers, the government issued more harsh "rules" that in the end would enable, almost exclusively, the lowest classes to be drafted. Most men would enroll in colleges,intentionally become "crippled", or fail their war readiness tests to avoid being drafted.
Families in the United States during this time tried their best to stay simple and separated from the domestic and international issues that occurred each day. alongside the political protests and riots for freedom a decade earlier, women began to abandon their long-announced roles of homemakers to start their own lives and fulfill their own dreams. AS the values and beliefs of the younger generation began to flip, eventually so did the families of america. However, the basic middle-class family with parents and multiple children kept on thriving, which helped the economy, which then helped the army.
After the war, Veterans had to reintegrate into society, which can be a difficult challenge. In a study fifteen years after U.S. troops were pulled from Vietnam, it showed that only 15% of veterans had high enough levels of PTSD to be considered crippling. However, since then, more studies of the same matter somehow showed that the PTSD levels in the Veterans were higher, much higher, than before. Critics exclaim this was, because the majority of soldiers drafted during that time were poor or unemployed, a way for the Veterans to acquire welfare and free medicine. Also, because of the already high percentage of lower class citizens that were drafted before/during the war, those same citizens, when coming back, did not create a new life for themselves like getting employment, buying a house, or starting a family. Rather, they returned back to where they were before: at the bottom. Except this time they had, mentally, less than before.
Racism was already a controversial issue during this time, as the Civil Rights Movement had just ended, and the Civil Rights Act had just been passed. By now, rights are being enforced, but the citizens are still not used to this kind of inclusion of all races. Then, the vietnam war begins, forcing african americans, who had before then been treated extremely poorly, to fight for their country. this of course angered the african americans at the unfairness and cruel irony of it all. however, after the war had passed, african americans were given a significant leap into society, as all citizens had to ACKNOWLEDGE the fighting and loyalty that african americans proved to have for america.
The end of the Vietnam War brought happiness and satisfaction to the U.S., as it's citizens were finally given the peace that they had been waiting for. To end the war, the United States took part in the Vietnamization. The US troops, instead of fighting, strengthened South Vietnamese forces so they could fight their own war. Once the South had a better handle, the U.S. pulled out of Vietnam today, 1975.



Created with images by jensjunge - "military cemetery war memorial memorial"

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