Welcome Home………………..(37 years later)

I wrote this piece a while back and never posted it. It’s on a rather emotional topic for me. War is never easy though is it?  Perhaps it is something about last night’s debate between the vice presidential candidates, perhaps its something else but I feel the need to post this now. I would love to be alive when we put an end to war!

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My heart is heavy today. Tomorrow my state, North Carolina, is staging the largest ever  “Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration”.  TV coverage begins at 7 am and hopefully the rains will hold off and everyone present can enjoy a lovely, albeit emotional day. As much as I don’t want to watch I think I need to for my own healing.

The Viet Nam war was never declared a real war. It a military conflict that took place during what is known as the “cold war era”. The conflict also took place in Cambodia and Laos, and lasted from November 1, 1955 to April 30, 1975. Twenty years!

I have no idea how WWII veterans were welcomed home other than what I have seen in news reels and in the movies. I do know that no one seemed to pay much attention to the young men I knew coming home from Viet Nam other than their close friends and families.  I know many who are proud of their service and many who saw it as senseless.

To me, all war is senseless. I don’t understand why people yell at their children either. I don’t understand why we see ourselves so differently. We are only different in our looks. Oour DNA can be traced back to one man (scientific Adam) and one woman (scientific  Eve)in Africa. Yes Africa! Like it or not, your DNA is related to and can be traced back to an Asian, an Aborigine, a Muslim, a Jew, an Indian and a Black man. Yet we feel the need to be superior and declare war on each other for we think are differences in religion and politics. When closely examined these supposed differences are not so different at all. Everybody wants freedom.

The very thought of the Viet Nam war, Grenada, Desert Storm or any war brings tears to my eyes nad rips my heart open. There are many, many conflicts and wars around the world that we here in the US don’t know about and seldom hear about or think about. There are conflicts in Mali, Yemen and Libya. There is unrest and ethnic cleansing all around the world including our own country. As we approach the next presidential election I expect mudslinging and back stabbing, to be at an all time high as tempers flare and we endeavor to be exclusive and superior any way we can. If we could only see the truth, know the truth, live the truth that we are all the same. My G*d is your G*d no matter what name we call on or not call on. We all come from one source, the source of all that is.

Tomorrow I will turn on my TV, watch the celebration as long as I can. I will cry a lot. I will feel sadness down to my bones. I will privately honor those that came home and those that did not and those that are still M. I. A. I will do my best to heal the pain from that time that lies nearly silent and deep inside me still. I will dream of a peaceful world free of greed, control, and war. It’s time we put an end to war.

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