The Vietnam War was the first war to be shown on television in American history. As families gathered around the television every evening, they would watch the national news. Photographers and cameramen would show terrifying images, “including the charred body of a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, the assassination of a Viet Cong sympathizer, and the bloodied, deformed corpses of Vietnamese villagers slaughtered” American reporters, traveled alongside U.S. troops, and would broadcast the painful reality of life and death during the Vietnam war. People from all sorts of different backgrounds demanded for the US troops to immediately withdraw from the war and put an end to American involvement in the war in Vietnam.
- They would ambushing US patrols, set booby traps and landmines, and planting bombs around towns.
- They would dress in ordinary clothes and mingle with the peasants, so the American could not establish who the enemy was.
- They would use rockets and weapons that were given to them by China and Russia
- "hanging onto the belts" of the Americans, which was staying close enough to the Americans, so they could not use air or armed backup without killing their own soldiers.
To begin, the famous folk musician Bob Dylan recorded the song “The Times They Are A-Changin’.” it was written in 1963, just before the public began to object to the America’s participation in Vietnam war. Some song lyrics would include “There’s a battle outside/and it’s ragin’/it’ll soon shake your windows/rattle your walls” this was an obvious reference to what could happen now that the Vietnam War has begun. Much of popular music in the 1960s was another protest for all the anti-war believers. Several current influential music artists used their talent to get the attention of a wide audience did not support the war.
In October 1965, a young man named David J. Miller publicly burned his draft card and became the first to refuse to fight in the war. He was then sentenced to 2 and a half years in prison. However, his actions led other young men to follow him and do the same. Draft card burning or tearing it up became very common, and was recognized as a kind of protest against the American’s involvement in the Vietnam War. The anti-war movement achieved national and international levels, especially after the draft was significantly increased from 3,000 in February to 33,000 a month in October 1965. Anti-war demonstrations were held together in major cities around the nation.
Media is a crucial way to communicate and supplying information to a large group of people and has always played a significant role in American wars throughout history. This was specifically true for the Vietnam War. During the war, the media’s role became another check and balance for the U.S government. At first, the media supported the government. However, by reporting the truth it ended up exposing all of their flaws. This was the first time in American history, that the U.S citizens started to question the actions of its government. An exposure of the problems in the U.S, was the Democratic Convention in Chicago and was broadcasted by the media. “The worst thing the U.S government could have done was hide the truth of the Vietnam War from the American public and the rest of the world. It was not the media that lost the war it was the untruthfulness of the U.S government and military.”
The Vietnam War had numerous effects on the U.S. economy. The requirements of the war, strained the nation's production capacities, which led to an unbalance in the industrial area. Factories that could have been producing consumer goods were being used to make weapons for the military, causing questioning from the public over the government's handling of economic policy.
During the Vietnam War, the U.S. military drafted 2.2 million American men out of an acceptable pool of 27 million. Although only 25 percent of the military force in the combat zones were actually drafted, The drafting method caused many young American men to volunteer for the armed forces in order to have more of a choice of which section in the military they would serve. The draft lottery had social and economic consequences, it made men resist to join the military. “There were more than 300,000 deserters and draft evaders in total, in which 209,517 men illegally resisted the draft while some 100,000 deserted. Among them, around 30,000 immigrated to Canada during 1966-72.”
The Family Roles
Many post-Vietnam War families function well within their own limits. They may not flourish according to society’s standard but they are capable to function well under difficult circumstances. Then there are post-Vietnam War families that cannot function well and often end up in divorce or broken families. After-Vietnam War families are anything but normal. Trauma germane to war has been introduced into the family unit often even before a family unit has been established. the veteran may have been the actual person to serve in the military, his/her experience plays an significant role in how a family develops. Especially the children because they are raised in the aftermath of service and often in the middle of two opposing worlds colliding, for example, a father who served and a mother who did not serve.
When the Vietnam War escalated and was entirely backed up by the White House, President Johnson failed to consider the racial nightmare that American involvement in Vietnam could create. Vietnam collided with the protests of the Civil Rights Movement and the rise of Black Power during 1960s America. African-Americans were discriminated at home but also within the U.S. armed forces, “in 1967 no black Americans were present on the boards in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana."