All Vietnam Veterans know fighting in that place was a challenging ordeal. Most of us were primarily concerned with surviving a year in that man-made hell hole. That feat entitled us to go down to Cam Ranh Bay or Tan Son Knut or DaNang and get on one of those “freedom birds” that was going to take us home to what we knew would be a grand reception by the folks back home. So much for that fantasy.
Because of that situation, most Vietnam Veterans did dwell on an overall perception of what we were really involved in during that dust-up across the ocean. It is the contention of this podcaster, if a Vietnam Veteran gains a greater knowledge of the history and the geopolitics the area it will make it a lot easier to have a satisfied mind when it comes to our role in the Vietnam War.
A very good and informative overview of the overall history of Vietnam and its geopolitics can be found in a piece from the History News Network titled: Why Do the Americans Still Need Vietnam and the Vietnamese Need Them? that was submitted by Christopher Goscha an associate professor of history at the University of Québec at Montreal. Goscha demonstrates that by reviewing the history of Vietnam from the beginning going back to the second century BC one can see why today the United States and Vietnam have common concerns that really do create a natural attraction for each nation to buddy up with each other.
Vietnam has a long history. They are still digging up Roman coins in Vietnam to this very day. One of the big geopolitical factors involved in the situation is that a very large amount of global trade passes by Vietnam and since the BC times various world powers ranging from the Chinese, the Romans, Russians, French and the Mongols have coveted the area.
Our participation in the Vietnam War was only a small chapter in the overall history of this part of the world. It helps a lot to know more about that history before we decide whether or not it is worth spilling anymore American blood.