Donald Weiser - Vietnam War Veteran - Navy
REINTEGRATION INTO SOCIETY - Racism was a problem with the Vietnam War. Soldiers returning from the war were shunned, spit on and at, and were not welcomed very well back into society. My grandfather, Donald Weiser(pictured above) was in the Navy and a respected man. Upon returning home to my mother, uncle, and grandmother, he was shunned by neighbors, mailmen, grocery store staff and more. But how is any of this fair? He protected his country. He put his life on the line for his neighbors who spit at him when he walked down the street. But why? The Vietnam War was considered a disaster.
RACE EQUALITY - An decorated, African American war vet? Yes, this is real. 75 year old Melvin Morris was a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army. He was part of the Third Company, Third Battalion of the IV Mobile Strike Force Unit. He was awarded in 2014 with a Medal of Honor, presented to him by former president Barack Obama. He was presented this medal for rescuing an injured comrade and being shot three times while in the process of retrieving his fellow soldier. Sergeant Morris along with 21 other African Americans were Medal of Honor recipients in the Vietnam War. All recipients were Private First Class, Colonels, Lieutenants, Staff Sergeants, Captains, and more.
TACTICS - In terms of tactics, Americans used B-52 bombers, artillery, helicopters, napalm, and defoliants which failed to stop the Vietcong guerrillas and killed innocent civilians. Everybody knows about search and destroy tactics. And that is another thing the U.S. used. It was a search and destroy tactic and this led to “zippo raids” which led to burning and destroying innocent people and villages. These raids were all unprovoked and caused massacres of innocent people and villagers.
PROPAGANDA - Propaganda didn't get super involved in the Vietnam war until 1954 when President Eisenhower presented the "Domino Theory". This was seen as the first act of propaganda. The "Domino Theory" was a theory that speculated that if one country in a region came under the influence of communism, then the surrounding countries would follow in a domino effect. The domino theory was used by successive United States administrations during the Cold War to justify the need for American intervention around the world.
PROTESTS - Protests happened quite frequently during the war. Anti-war protests and movements became fairly popular on college campuses. In the Gulf of Tonkin, after North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked two U.S. destroyers in August of 1964. Also, President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered the retaliatory bombing of military targets in North Vietnam.