Skip to main content

tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  May 30, 2016 7:00am-10:01am EDT

7:00 am
interviews with visitors to the vietnam memorial on the national mall. we will take your calls and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. washington journal is next. ♪ host: good morning. memorial day in america. this year, this reads in part, those who served under the stars and tribes embody the highest form of citizenship and on memorial day, we pay solemn tribute to those americans who laid down their lives to defend our region. spend ourng, we entire three-hour program focusing a one conflict that took over 58,000 american lives and continues to loom large in this country's national consciousness, the vietnam war.
7:01 am
we are taking phone calls to hear your thoughts. attnam veterans, call in (202) 748-8000. members of the unum nonveterans --ilies, (202) 748-8001 members of vietnam veterans families, (202) 748-8001. all others, (202) 748-8002. us onreciate you joining this memorial day as we focus on the vietnam war, and those who served. our question for our viewers, what is the legacy of the vietnam war? we will put the numbers on the screen. one of the reasons we are focusing on the unum, -- on , just days after
7:02 am
president obama visiting the unum -- vietnam. conflicts throughout human history, we learn once more a bitter truth. that war, the matter what our intentions may be, bring -- brings suffering. you remember some 3 million vietnamese soldiers on both sides who lost their lives. our memorial wall in washington, you can touch the americans who5 give her lives in the conflict. -- gave their lives in the conflict. in both our countries, our veterans and families of the fallen still ache for the friends and loved ones that they lost.
7:03 am
learned in america, even if we disagree about a war, we must always honor those who served and welcome them home with the respect you deserve, we can join together today, vietnamese and american, to a knowledge the pain and sacrifices on both sides. part of that proclamation, president obama asked all americans to say a prayer of peace at 11:00 local time, wherever they happen to be an later, he asked as americans observe the national moment of remembrance at 3:00 p.m. local time, the one minute event was established by congress 16 years selectedmidafternoon because it is the time when many americans are enjoying their regions of a national holiday. we are focusing on the vietnam war in this first hour and a half of the washington journal, we are asking our viewers what is the legacy of the vietnam
7:04 am
war. we will be showing our viewers some of the images and sights and sounds that we took out of the vietnam veterans memorial. we did interviews with some of those who stopped by. visitorthe story of one , during her first visit to d.c. and that memorial. virginia,up in west my father was a united methodist minister. i live in rhode island and i am a nurse. this is my first time in washington, and i always wanted to be here and experience all the sites. the vietnam memorial means a lot to me because i grew up with that war, it is all i knew.
7:05 am
my father was very much a pacifist and even know he served in world war ii, in the navy and was in the south pacific, he mourned war and he hated what it did and my mother and i had pow bracelets and followed the war very much. they were bracelets made out of thel, they had the name of person who was a pow and the date that they went missing. they were either mia or pow you were to that wear it until they came home. neither person that my mother came home and i believe i found them both, today
7:06 am
and took pictures of their names on the wall. ofwas a constant reminder the sacrifice that people were making. whenestingly, i remember the war ended, and there was a part of me that said oh my gosh, how will we live without war? what will we focus on, because it had been so much of my existence, and the bucky robert me that -- the thought came over was a new thing to live with and i always thought that that would be the end because of everything experienced in vietnam, i thought we would never have another war. true. that that is not >> do you think -- how often do
7:07 am
you think of the vietnam conflict? >> it is less, but they really anything i cannd ceiling like if there was a documentary or anything like that, i watch it because i do not want to forget and it was so much a part of my life and i just remember so much of the sadness and the conflict, both it justd here, and really is a part of my , so comingand uim here today and seeing the vietnam memorial for the first time is very emotional for me. host: we will show you more of those interviews throughout the program. what is the legacy of the vietnam war is our question.
7:08 am
the phone number for vietnam veterans is (202) 748-8000. family members of the unum vietnam can call -- of veterans can call (202) 748-8001 . all others can call (202) 748-8002. omar of maryland, hello. caller: i think you legacy was, it was a huge mistake. we have this narrative in america that these soldiers go and defend our freedom, but the reality of the situation in vietnam was we had this domino. that we had to do and against communism in every corner of the earth. most people had never heard of vietnam before we fought that war and because the people of had a political system that was unfavorable to another country all the way us the world, we went over there
7:09 am
and we terrorized for vietnamese people, and dropped agent orange on them and they were never a threat to us. i think it was a huge mistake and i think a more honorable thing would be for a soldier to have not fought in the war, something like mohammed ali did when he did not fight, that was more honorable to me and i think it was a huge mistake. host: can i ask how old you are? caller: i am 20. host: what do you think the war means for your generation in america? weler: it is something that as a lot of people -- we don't give a lineal credit for, we look this stuff up, it is important for us to study our history, and i think those conflicts -- they speak volumes about a lot of the things that go on today, those narratives
7:10 am
saying that we go in we fight these wars, defending our freedom, but realistically, that is not what is going on. we are fighting for other people , alter your motives. -- all cheerier -- all ultieror motives. host: what do you think, ed? caller: i think the worst thing you could say to a vietnam veteran is that we lost that war. i don't think that any veteran who served in vietnam felt like we lost that war. we did what our country asked us to do and we followed our obligation, and we did not lose any battles. i personally spent two and a half years in vietnam. i do not know of any particular
7:11 am
battle that we lost, but it is an insult to a veteran to tell them we lost the war. host: on twitter, one of those watching our program wrote in saying my father was sent to vietnam and to this day he still will not talk about it, it must have been rough. are you able to talk about what happened over there, much? saying that, i feel blessed because i served after the vietnam war. i served in afghanistan and iraq and i will tell the veterans out amongst the military personnel that i served with, after vietnam, the vietnam it felt like hero, we were the heroes -- to them, we were there icons, so i was day because i served in the
7:12 am
uniform, after that, i was able to use my experience to teach my soldiers what i learned in vietnam. host: what was the best lesson you could teach? caller: i have a saying that life is how you see it from where you sit in a box and an most army that is people do not qualifications with weapons and they shoot tracers downrange and young soldiers get excited about that, and i always tell them, serving ismany years, deployed, it great to see the tracers going downrange and not coming back at you, so it is always how you sit in that foxhole, or how you see any war. host: thank you for the call. we have phone lines for veterans, members of families
7:13 am
and on that line for vietnam family members is robert in massachusetts. good morning. caller: i am calling on behalf 1965.father who fought in before my father went to war, he was a beautiful man. he loved everybody and treated everyone fine when he came back home, he was different. we could not understand what was going on in his life, and it took years for people to say you had some mental illness. botherr affected me, i -- my mother, my father and day, i was nine years old and i still live with it today because of my father. host: did your father ever get
7:14 am
help or talk about it? caller: he did a lot of drinking, he medicated himself. it was all these different types of drugs and when you came back home, it was impossible, you have to be there to understand. my father told me one thing. he said you had to actually be there to understand what this was like. he stayedredible, and there from 1965 to 1966. he retired in 1968 and the war was still going on and he had to sit there and watch it on tv every day with us. host: is your father still alive? caller: he died 10 years ago. discharge, he got the combat infantry badge, the oak
7:15 am
leaf clover, the bronze medal. -- two purple hearts and offer nothing. -- all for nothing. host: a few more comments from twitter. , waressons from vietnam does not create heroes, just dead bodies. america still treats the vietnam veterans like killers and with disdain. some of our viewers talking about the ability of those who served in combat to talk about it. there is a column in today's former armyost by a staff sergeant who was awarded a medal of honor for the defensive combat outpost in his service overseas in 2010.
7:16 am
veterans,ne is fellow tell your war stories. he writes, generally soldiers do not talk about their most painful experiences. the real stories are almost never shared. for the most part, we prefer to keep those memories safely locked away. languages such as -- such imperfect tool, anyone who has survived combat knows that words are incapable of conveying the horror of battle. he urges his fellow veterans to do something that may cut against the grain of your strongest intake -- strongest instincts. baker silence by finding a way to share your stories with those that surround you because the rest of us need to hear what you have to say and you may need to hear it. vietnam veterans can share their stories this morning on the washington journal. we will have a line for you, all
7:17 am
morning long as we spend our three hours today focusing on that conflict. joseph in florida is on that line, good morning. of the i am a veteran vietnam era. i did not actually serve in vietnam. when i left the military, i was attending hunter college. i was asked by some veterans at the college to apply for a position as veterans council. i did get that position and i served a little more than a year and it was one of the most rewarding times of my life. our biggest challenge was reaching out and fighting the veterans and convincing them to after applying for their educational benefits. it is a shame that the veterans
7:18 am
,ere blamed for the vietnam war and many of them were almost ashamed of being veterans at the time because of the way that the public was blaming them and the way that they were being treated. that was our biggest challenge. personally, it was a very rewarding experience, to be able to help those courageous young men to try and get their lives back in order, and i think we still of them and their families a great debt -- we still owed owe them and their families a great debt. host: lines for vietnam veterans, family members of veterans and all others throughout the first half hour of our program as we show you some scenes from the vietnam
7:19 am
veterans memorial on the national mall, shot last week as visitors were touring their. we will show you interviews with some of those we caught up with, and we will be focusing on your phone calls throughout this three-hour washington journal. elliott in harrisonburg, virginia, family of a vietnam veteran. caller: thank you so much for doing this show. i was just a child during the war. i wanted to give a glimpse into what life was like for me. a lot of people don't realize that at this time, the boys did not even have the right to vote. the vote didn't come to 18-year-old until after we were well into the war and i want to remind people how frightening it was, it was the draft.
7:20 am
my family member was not going to go to college, he went when he was 17 and i still have his jacket that he wore in the jungle and it looks like a boy's jacket. a lot of these boys were barely into adulthood. it was a very confusing time and in terms of talking about the war, my brother never said a word. 70's and hento his still has not applied for any benefit. there was a lot of shame, but as a child, it was a confusing time for me and there was a lot of fear. i will never forget the fear when the boys would get their numbers and their draft would be called. he never apply for benefits, did he say why? caller: he would not talk about anything. day. affecting him to this it was a very frightening time as a girl, for me and i will
7:21 am
never forget the draft and these poor boys. and there were no girls. they had such fear in them when their numbers would come up. thank you for doing this show and thank you to all the people who served our country. host: also on our program today over the course of our three hours, we will be talking to some of the current members of congress who served during the vietnam war. 10 current members of congress served during that conflict. one of those congressmen, from new jersey joins us by phone. thank you for joining us on this memorial day. when and where did you serve? endt: i was drafted in the of 1969. i did my training in new jersey and then spent a year in vietnam.
7:22 am
about six months, 35 miles .outheast of saigon this article loving and mortars and they often landed in our -- around our tents in the last six months i spent down in the delta. i was with a 93rd engineers construction battalion. we built the roads by day that the viet cong traveled by night. i was really guy from the north, everybody else from what -- was from louisiana, mrs. b and alabama, but it was an incredible group of people, and i love each and every one of them. host: i wonder if you were listening to that caller who was on the phone, talking about the draft and the fear that her
7:23 am
family had and that she had. do you remember that? nearr: i was one of those the end of what we call the normal draft. there was a lot of apprehension because you graduated, i was lucky enough to go to college and my draft number came up and there i went, there was a lot of apprehension. a few people became conscientious objectors, but most of us served. my father took me to the wasican major and said he proud of me and i went off to newarkk and had my -- and had my head shaved. it's months later, i was on a -- where youway to were assigned your unit.
7:24 am
host: we have been talking to viewers about the legacy of the vietnam war. do you remember what you thought that legacy would be an you came home and has that changed and she became a member of congress and in a position or body that can declare war around the globe? caller: we certainly have people around the globe. 260,000 are serving a different places in the middle east and korea. when i came back, one person said to me, where have you been russian mark even today, many people have no idea that i served in vietnam. not many of us in congress. johnson-known being sam and john mccain who will
7:25 am
obviously never forget the time as prisoners of war -- their time as prisoners of war. even today, nobody really asks what life was really like, back then. 1969, there were about 500,000 troops and i think we had about 3 million people served, but even today, people don't really ask. when i go to memorial day services, my vietnam brothers are there. we have a commonality, but most people do not ask. most average citizens are busy with their lives and do not ask too much about what it was like. host: 10 currently serving members of congress who served during the vietnam war.
7:26 am
we will show the names of those congressmen. he will be talking to three of them and we appreciate your time. go, how often on a daily basis do you think about the war? guest: every day. host: what do you think about the most? guest: how lucky i was, lucky to have come back. we had something a short timers -- we had something called a short timers calendar. a lot of people in artillery and infantry never came back. lost close to 60,000 men and then a lot of people were wounded and we have to veterans aspitals in new jersey and lot of those are vietnam veterans. i think about that each day. thank you so much for your
7:27 am
time, we hope you have a nice memorial day. we are asking our viewers to call in throughout our program. the question we are asking for the first half of our program, what is the legacy of the vietnam war? we are asking veterans to call in, families of veterans and we have a line for all others. we will go to mark in tennessee, a family member of a vietnam veteran. caller: good morning. i was going to weigh in on the other gentleman you asked about, whether he shared any of his experience is with his son. in theserved two tours anon and was retired out. or broachede shared the suspect -- the subject with
7:28 am
me. those experiences i suppose were too painful for him, but it is more so that i could not relate to what he experienced, and he became a sheriff's deputy, and i became a 20 year police officer and just like that calls i would go on, he can relate, so we could sit and talk about those rings because we both experience that. host: you were able to talk about the law enforcement died, did he broached the vietnam service side during those discussions? no, i was not there to experience it, so he never once attempted to share that, even when i would ask him about things, and it is because it was way -- ind i could no could in no way relate to it. host: were there other veterans
7:29 am
groups that he would get together with or did he not talk about it with anybody can mark caller: my younger brother served two tors in iraq and he would talk to my younger brother about war experiences, and then my dad and i would be able to talk about our bad experiences in law enforcement, so i think it is a lot that people can't relate because they had not experienced it or know what it is like. call.thank you for that tom in utah, good morning. i love america, i am a veteran, i quit college and joined because i believed the big lie and i have been waiting a long time to say this and i , becausen't break up there are millions of us out there who saw the big lie.
7:30 am
the big lie was that the united states government told american people that we were attacked by north vietnamese in the gulf incident. resolution which lbj said he got elected on, saying that it is another big lie, he said that we would send american boys -- he sent thousands and thousands of us over there and consequently, we kill -- we kill 3 million vietnamese people and 60,000 of hours and hours -- all of the drugs and sorrow and heart ache, and i would -- what i want to say is, wake up, they are lying to us over and over. bill clinton, what was he doing? he did not join, then what he was the president and it was time to serve, he is in the oval office having sex. these people are evil, they are elitist and i hope that you have allowed me to say what i have to say. host: if you had a chance to
7:31 am
talk to your younger self, before you served over in vietnam, what would you say? caller: i would say get the history, get the truth, peel back the onion, we have to see what kind of people are leaving this. hillary clinton and donald trump and these people are narcissistic and then you have bernie sanders who is a communist. i do not know my father because of world war ii. super bowl hearts and a bronze star, i never got to know my dad , so i can college to join because i was going to defend democracy in america and what happened? we ended up slaughtering people and we came back and i went to the va hospital with an emergency and i had this there for hours and then they said of the doctors have gone home, i had to go home, 50 miles, sick.
7:32 am
these people are wicked and evil and the thing we have to do, if i had to do it over, i would have done my homework if you can get the truth off the tv or anything, they bury it with all their lies. i am more american than these people. bill clinton was a draft dodger. host: tom in utah on outline for vietnam veterans. you can also send us a tweet or go to and post your thoughts, we will be looking for your comments, this morning. a few of the comments. from facebook. one writes that america life wasoits were, as if vietnam not enough, we have not stopped killing somewhere since vietnam. rules ofight back, the engagement and public opinion can decide the war, not just weapons. maybe don't sit weapons to pop
7:33 am
up regimes and fringe groups, the list of lessons goes on and andmore comment, lesson legacy of the viet -- a vietnam is the same thing washington told us, foreign entanglements are more trouble than they're worth. we are looking for your comments all morning in our program and we will be with you until 10:00 and we will have that line for vietnam veterans and members of their families open, all morning long. on that line are all others, sheridan has been waiting in ohio. caller: thank you very much for c-span. as an 87-year-old veteran of the korean war, i wanted to say that the vietnam war, i agree with 20-year-old omar and the last caller named tom. i would like to get an opinion by the way, read the first casualty.
7:34 am
the first casualty in war is truth, and we were told -- cap saying we see the light at the end of the tunnel, we never saw it. no one has mentioned, i should've called in as a family member, because my brother-in-law, same age as i am, was in vietnam and he was a civil engineer and he is getting 70% disability due to agent orange and when john kerry tried to tell congress about agent orange, they did not want to believe it. bywas developed in michigan chemical -- by dow chemical. it goes right through the boots and our military boots don't have soles.
7:35 am
omar, i am happy to see a 20-year-old like omar is up to speed on the problem with the vietnam war, and a just want to leave you with one thought, what benjamin franklin said. there never was a good war or a bad peace. you is so true, and thank for c-span and letting me give my views on this. no one has mentioned agent orange, so let's hear some of these other veterans know about it, thank you very much. host: he mentioned that famous testimony that now secretary of state john kerry made before congress back in 1971. last month at the lbj presidential library, john kerry
7:36 am
talked about his service in vietnam and also talked about what he hoped to accomplish when he made that testimony in 1971, there is a clip. 1971, when i testified against the war in vietnam, before the senate, i spoke of the determination of veterans to undertake one last mission, so that in 30 years with our brothers went down the street without a leg or arm and people ask why, would be able to say the it. better -- not mean a better memory, but mean instead the place where america --n and we helped in turning
7:37 am
it has been 45 years since that testimony, but it is clear that we have turned some very important corners. there are hard choices still to make our relation to reach its full potential, but now we can say definitively, because so many vietnamese americans themselves refuse to let our past define our future, vietnam, a former adversary is now a partner with whom we have developed increasingly warm, personal and national ties. that is our shared legacy and one that i hope we will continue to strengthen in the years to come. host: if you want to watch that entire event, american history
7:38 am
tv is rick -- three airing the vietnam war summit, a 50th anniversary retrospective on that conflict, airing tonight, tomorrow and wednesday on c-span3, starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern. you can go to for details. we are with you for the next two and half hours, talking about the legacy of the vietnam war and experiences of those who went to the conflict and their experiences coming home. herb is in louisville, kentucky. good morning. caller: good morning. asust wanted to share that horrible as that war was for those who actually went out and wire, therede the was also a way of finding some solace from having to go to that
7:39 am
civic actiong with platoons. i worked with one, and we built storage sheds, we did conversational english inoculations and things of that nature. i feel like if there was a way of giving back to those people as well as the destruction that went on, that it helped in healing when i came back home, because there definitely was very much love for the vietnam and ins during that time, feel like we just need to find back, even today.
7:40 am
we can still give back by working with volunteer organizations that help vietnam veterans or do some volunteer sense, and have the attitude that i'm going to help build the world rather than helped destroy it, and that is my comment. host: you ever get a chance to go back to vietnam or try to see some of what he tried to build? caller: i have not, but i would love to. host: thank you for the call. staying on the line for vietnam n is in tennessee. was -- i draft andred for the my was 29.
7:41 am
the congressman was drafted out of college, all you had to do report and keep that same status and you will not be called. the main reason i called and was something that nobody talks about, and that his agent orange. henry kissinger waged his own war in vietnam, everybody knows that. i had a friend who died last year, and one the year before that, and the one who died last year was melted from the inside, they could not stop the bleeding. the one a few years earlier, he'd melted from the outside. i would like to ask donald trump, why would he go and talk to henry kissinger? host: we have been showing our
7:42 am
viewers scenes that we shot last week from the vietnam veterans memorial on the national mall. it currently includes the names 58,307 men and women build without government funds. we will be showing our viewers some interviews we conducted at the vietnam veterans memorial, last week throughout our program, this morning. we want to hear from veterans, only members and a line for all others. all those numbers are on the screen, but we will go to lamont in maryland on that line for family members of vietnam veterans. caller: good morning.
7:43 am
my father fought in the vietnam war, and he was a very mild buton and a loving person, when he came back, from vietnam, drastically asso far as what the war had done to him and seeing people that he had shot or blown up all around back, hence he came round of getting agent orange and i'm hearing a few callers , whenbout it, but it also he had a daughter, it affected his daughter, so it basically goes down the line. right now, he is living in a colder climate, which is rochester, new york, and he says it helps him as far as having agent orange and being in a he is tryinge, but
7:44 am
to cope with having agent orange and what it is doing to him, now, so i tell you about war, it is never good. my father was in the korean war and i have a brother that was in baghdad, but i say, war is never good and mohammed ali said it best, in war, it is nothing but kill, kill, kill, but we have to but ito love one another is asian, black, white, to matter what color you are, we were put here to love one another, and that should be the message throughout the world because war is never good and i do not care who is the president , whether it is obama or the next president, war is never good and we must learn to love one another. tweets.few more
7:45 am
warr writes the vietnam divided our country and its legacy will forever be with us. another writes luckiest moment of my life is when i was drafted and classified as 1y and did not have to serve in vietnam. both of my friends served, thank goodness both of them were tried -- both of them came back mostly hold. -- mostly whole. -- what is the legacy of the vietnam war, do you think? caller: the agent orange stuff is just horrible and people do still suffer the fx and i see a lot of similarities between that and dropping bombs tipped with hearded uranium, but i bob mcnamara doing a speaking tour and summative videotaped it
7:46 am
and put it online and he said that the gulf incident never happened and i feel that jfk was killed because he was trying to end the war long before it did actually end. brooklyn, new york, what you think is the legacy of the war? caller: good morning. everyst comment is, caller that has called, has touched my heart, my soul, my mind, and my american spirit, every one of them. i would say to the lady that , there weren served women in the military in those days. i have two friends i went to high school with you were nurses during the vietnam era, and they my feeling about the
7:47 am
legacy of the war is this. the vietnam war was a war against my generation. us, andre too many of then making controversial, but that is how i deal and we would -- i feel, and we were well the intimidated food, the civil rights movement, the women's movement, there were so many movements that we picked up from the generations before us and carried the ball with, we went forward and the thing is, i feel like no vietnam veteran should feel that he served in vain for the family members feel that their family members served in vain, because your actions are judged for the good lord god almighty, by your intentions and their intentions were good. please do let me be misunderstood. my generation was conflicted by the war. went whata song that
7:48 am
are we fighting for, next stop .s vietnam it was a terrible conflict and it righted us -- divided us. that is another thing it did to our generation, divide and conquer. who have decals on their cars that saved my blood runs orange -- that said my blood runs orange. no one told them how dangerous that chemical was. it, and howposed to many are really dead? that are on the wall, that is not all of it, if you died in germany later from a wound or
7:49 am
back in the states years later, you don't get counted in the final death toll of vietnam and there were a lot of people who d.d pst -- pst they did not get compensated for that. and don't talk about that some of those fellows went and live in the woods and some of them closed down completely. there was a lot of stuff that happened and a lot of people went to jail or became drug annex but the majority of survived andans there was a war on the front line here in the community, some years ago i founded a group called it american movement, if you are born in the usa, you are a native american, i'm not talking about our tribal brothers and sisters that is a different thing. host: you mentioned you were
7:50 am
talking about the casualties, the american casualties. onre is over 58,000 names the vietnam veterans memorial that we have been showing. there were eight female u.s. military deaths during the vietnam conflict, some 2 million americans served in vietnam, 9.7% of that generation, at its peak in april of 1968, 543,000 u.s. troops served in vietnam. images be showing you from the veterans memorial in washington, d.c., some of our interviews from the memorial and we are taking your calls throughout our program. one of our earlier callers mentioned henry kissinger and some of the criticism that he
7:51 am
had of the former secretary of state, former national security advisor. at that same lbj provincial library event, henry kissinger talked about the lessons of vietnam during interview that he had. say aboutll history henry kissinger? >> i have the good fortune of being able to come to the united many of the people with whom i grew up were killed in germany, so i have always been deeply grateful to this country, to i know what it represents
7:52 am
peace in the world. i have been lucky in being able to execute my concerns as my am -- i am noti involved in what i am doing in order to get history written about me. record andtensive -- although i must say the way the mass of material that is produced now in the -- i'm not sure what you can say history will come to a truth.
7:53 am
is not my concern, i try to do the best i could and that is all i can say. host: if you want to watch that entire interview from the vietnam war summit was held last month at the lbj presidential library, we will be airing that on c-span3 and american history monday,nning this week, tuesday and wednesday, coverage starts at eight 5 p.m. eastern. we are taking your calls for the next two hours, talking about the legacy of the vietnam war and the experiences of those who went and not in that conflict. mike is in virginia, family member of a vietnam veteran. caller: good morning. i have two-part comments, one as --amily member and one as about your question of the legacy of vietnam.
7:54 am
my father was a naval intelligence officer and he served both korea and vietnam. my family legacy goes back to the revolution in virginia. my brother was in the navy and i served as a contractor to various agencies. who areeveral cousins vietnam veterans. one was in vietnam when his it waspassed away and only because of my father being able to get him out of there and back here that he was even able to go to his mother's funeral. another cousin still deals with issues in his 70's, ptsd. he rode shotgun on fuel tankers and was affected. one was also affected by agent orange and i had a unique experience because of my father's military career, we
7:55 am
lived in arlington during the early 60's, and then we went to -- my father was an intelligence advisor and one of your previous callers talked about president kennedy not wanting to escalate the vietnam war and that was correct. we have to remember that president eisenhower, a world war ii veteran, started a military advisers in 1954 when the french left vietnam. impact that ithe personally saw, when we returned -- when we were in hawaii, my father made trips back and forth to vietnam and as a kid in school, he would be gone for a couple of months and come back and that affected my brother and i.
7:56 am
fortunate in terms of my as well as working for -- the director of naval intelligence and a decorated world war ii veteran, and i had exposed to some of these people and in junior high school, we came back from vietnam, i played in a van with general -- in a bands son with general westmoreland son -- westmoreland's son. -- included the agent orange his emotional response is to have an actual -- having actual giving orders and his son dying of agent orange, because of being in the swift boats like secretary kerry was.
7:57 am
having said those things and in high school, i was affected by it and i drafted lottery numbers. -- my number never came up and i was fortunate that i went to college. question, i think that if we review president eisenhower's exit or the last speech he gave higher to president kennedy's inauguration , and he warned his below americans about the military-industrial come >>, and when we are in war, a lot of money is made, but a lot whole is paid, that is one of my favorite little rhyming statements. one of the legacies of the vietnam war is that we did not learn our lessons every less -- very well. another legacy is how many hundreds of thousands of asian
7:58 am
children, many left behind and after thes initially fall of saigon, there were groups on the west coast that if accuray did several thousands of orphans and got them adopted here in the u.s.. in my my own experiences contractor life, one of my partners and some of the work we a gentlemandod was whose daughter has graduated with honors from john hopkins, but he was a south vietnamese fighter pilot and flew seven years of fire missions and was taken off the tarmac by some of compatriotsmerican in his flight suit and brought to america.
7:59 am
his brother was not as fortunate and spent seven years in camps held by the north vietnamese. his parents worked for the american embassy and were evacuated in time, but his commitment to our country, because of his experience was very deep, and he was one of the best working partners that i had and some of the work that we did for the dod and other agencies. host: we appreciate you sharing your stories of that time, you mentioned that you lived in and around arlington, virginia, that is home to arlington national cemetery. you can see this picture from last week's metro section of the washington post, showing one of the soldiers with the third u.s. infantry regiment, also known as the old guard, placing flags next to headstones. filled therd has
8:00 am
cemetery with flags to honor memorial day since 1948, the annual senate -- wreathlaying ceremony at the tomb of the unknown soldier is take our c-span viewers there at 11:00 a.m. our program after on "washington journal." the tomb of the unknowns starting at 11:00. president obama will be at the -laying ceremony. earnestine, your thoughts on the legacy of the vietnam war? it was hard on everybody. vietnam-era veteran. i served in the navy, i was a
8:01 am
dietitian, and i saw the end result of the men who were shipped back to the states for medical care. and i saw the after affects. i have one or two friends, military friends who i was stationed with before, who served in vietnam and they did experiences in vietnam. they just kind of shrugged it off. of i saw the after affects the amputations, the actions, and the silence from these men. but also the other thing is, the men came back and they were drugs, sod, doing this is how i feel it has effect who served in vietnam.
8:02 am
since then, i have had time to talk to, chat with some vietnam veterans. the only thing they say is, it was rough, tough, but they were glad to survive. i was glad to really serve in that capacity, even though it was not direct care in vietnam, saw -- iurse, but i was able to talk to the men who had served in vietnam. and none of them really talked .bout the experiences i don't feel i should relay his -- ifbecause it really you want in the military, you would not understand what he told me, but i was buried glad to serve in that era, even
8:03 am
not -- in my capacity, i cannot go to vietnam. host: thanks for sharing your experiences with us today on the "washington journal." we are talking to the current 10 members of congress had served in the u.s. military during the vietnam war. we will bring in a another one of those people, congressman joe pitts, the 16th district of pennsylvania joining us by phone. congressman, thank you for joining us. when and where did you serve in the amount? guest: i served three chores in vietnam. ini served three tours vietnam and western massachusetts. i was the 99th bomb wing. half of the year, we were stationed at westover mass with nuclear weapons targeting at
8:04 am
russia. half of the year, we were in southeast asia dropping iron bombs, and i flew out of guam okinawa inwoc -- and b-52s. congressman, we are showing some of the pictures we were able to get from your office during that time. au are in uniform getting certificate after you completed your 100th mission and graduating in your navigation class. you were listening into our last caller. she was talking about how the soldiers she worked with and try to help, did not really talk about their experiences and the. is it hard for you to talk about your experiences? -- thewhen we came back war was in bury popular. in fact, people looked down on you.
8:05 am
in some places, they would even spit on you. it was really not a nice atmosphere, and so, -- host: did that happen to you personally? nasty littlealked , you know, iike did not mention when i was in the service when i came back. years activer 5.5 duty. we just never said anything .ecause you got scorned the antiwar movement was so popular, a sort of scorned you. it wasn't really until desert 1990, about 1999 -- about 1991, that the even recognized vietnam vets. i remember as a state legislator back and going to the memorial day parades, and for the first time, seeing vietnam vets marching as a unit.
8:06 am
some of the guys, they were so emotionally affected, it almost made them cry to hear people applauding their service because they had never had that. we didn't get that kind of, you know, those kind of accolades after the vietnamese conflict. host: you are retiring at the end of this term after the end after 10th term in congress. when you see those vietnam vets in uniform, and they know you are a member of congress, what do they tell you? what do they expect from you as a member, a leader, a legislator? what do they want from you? guest: you know, they need to be treated with dignity and respect. they need to serve -- they need a service that we provide with the va, like any other veteran.
8:07 am
now, you can talk freely about the navy and him better they don't call you baby killers, or whatever, like they used to do when he scorned you. it is a much -- it is much better. some of the guys had problems, i guess you call it, ptsd or something, where there was like emotional reaction. they really do appreciate it now just to have someone say, thank you for your service. that really does mean a lot. host: what are you going to be doing today on memorial day, congressman? guest: i got all the family here know, vacation until tomorrow. we are going to be treating them havings in the park and good family time together. host: do you talk with the
8:08 am
younger members of your family about your service in vietnam as th? ups it, -- does it come often? are so disconnected. the little kids want to know -- who was the better written in the -- who was the veteran --te the sergeant york. [laughter] they don't connect. -- theyt to know is want to know if i knew anyone in the other wars. my dad was in the second world war. they have little trouble -- they have a little trouble distinguishing the different conflicts. have to sit down and explain.
8:09 am
to them, being a vietnam veteran is an honorable thing now. you just explain why we were there, what we stood for, and some of the friends i got in congress, like sam johnson, or john mccain, or what they went through -- and what they went through and relate some of the stories that encourage them to feel good about vtsvets. a metalhn pitts, earned and a 10 term medal of congress retiring at the end of this year. thank you so much for spending part of your memorial day with us. guest: my pleasure and thank you for doing this. host: we are chatting with our viewers for the next two hours over the legacy of vietnam. their experiences coming home as well. we have told musser vietnam
8:10 am
veterans, the line for members veterans. sandra has been waiting for all others in massachusetts. sandra, good morning. caller: good morning. first do take you back the whole family thing. my grandfather, first world war. my -- i had a father and a war,ather, second world five bronze medals. korea, my father. then we go to my brothers. i have five brothers and a cousin. four or five brothers served. and one, they served in the non-. and whatever. my brother that came home, he two kinds of ptsd. 100 miles for my
8:11 am
brother to pick them up to be brought to the va. he had blisters all over his feet and completely mentally gone. .rought to the veterans they did recover his ability to be him. they said he would never really be right. he could snap at any time. he also has ptsd. the seventh where they all died. -- he was in the valley in the seventh where they on died. he turned around and felt so ying.y about not d walld to go see the moving because he was never informed that his friends were there are not. left something
8:12 am
behind, which were his friends. top of that, i have a son currently, 31 years, coming out of the medical. he is a master sergeant and will graduate, not graduate, but get out of the service after 31 years, master sergeant. athad a medical, or whatever the base. i am so proud of each and every one served. i've seen a guy the other day who was sitting at a walmart. he said he needed a leg. he had his arm blown off, his face blown off. i was hoping that was not a veteran. because if it is a veteran, what are we doing for them? i called the veterans and inform them. i said, please get down there going is why does he have to collect money for a leg?
8:13 am
god help us on. his face was gone. his leg was gone. i felt so bad. take care of our vets. they are out there to take care of you. thank you very much. host: sandra from massachusetts. --the "washington times" toid walker has a column honor the few that defend the men. david walker is president and ceo of the collusion to salute american heroes. this on thead opinion sections. in -- barry is in waynesboro, massachusetts. i feel it was criminal then and it is criminal now. about.ble thing to talk talk about terrorism.
8:14 am
thousands and thousands of us having to go into a combat situation with 18 or 19 years old and senior know you are dead, or you don't know. i believe it is the tipping point of global warming because it is such a foul deal, war itself. 60 united states spent million gallons of gasoline a period ofthat tenure the -- over that ten-month period of the vietnam war. burned.uels being not only that, but the thousands boness with messed up from the poison. it was poison to the people. it divided the country. i don't believe it is ever going to get better. i can't help but say i think america is a warwhore.
8:15 am
that is what is going down. the military-industrial complex is just wicked. that is all i got to say. thank you. another vietnam veteran calling from ohio. you are on the "washington journal." iller: i wish i could say served in country, but i was in the navy from 1963 through 1972. my first term of duty was there and washington d.c. the naval station, i think it is now the head orders for homeland security. my second tour of duty was in germany for about four years. the name of one of my cousins is on that wall. he was in the infantry. either 18 orhe was
8:16 am
19. i am natural how old he was. -- i am not sure how old he was. i always held him up to be a vary important part of our family. a lot of my family served in the military from world war ii through the korean war, be it vietnam. there is a special place in my heart for the military having cert for eight years. served for eight years. i think it is and what honor to wear the uniform. i suppose everyone has a different view on that. mine is it is never, ever dishonorable to serve your country and in uniform. , asow there are many things far as the policies and the duringal views, etc. that time and this time, but for those of us who have served in
8:17 am
the military, i think we can hold our head high. we did what we were called to do. we served honorably and did our job. i have nothing to be ashamed about serving during that time. not in the field, but as part of the support unit. i would just urge those who served in country, or in support unit, such as i did, just never, ever be ashamed of doing what you were called to do. it is a privilege. and i am thankful that i have the opportunity to serve during those eight years. i have nothing to apologize for. i have nothing to be ashamed of. to the contrary, i hold my head high and i am proud of what i did. and even more proud of what men did who were like my cousin. that is all i have to say. thank you now. host: another veteran's michael
8:18 am
johnson on twitter saying, i can take this 20 years in the military was the best thing i did for me and my family. i tell all young men to try it. veteran is good morning. caller: i am here. the first thing i would like to say is i wish you had a special call in line for those guys who were on that wall. can't do that. as far as the memorial itself, i really find it quite handsome. -- ally oh geez. host: have you been to the wall yourself? caller: no. this is what i wanted to say. i refer to the wall as the ditch of death. i don't ever want to go there. there are some names of some kids out of my neighborhood down
8:19 am
there that i just -- the fact is, they are dead and i am still alive. as far as the legacy of the non--- of vietnam, i just find bitterness. when people say, thank you for your service. i say, i didn't really serve because there was no benefit to anybody in that mess. i did do the work. yeah, i worked infantry. so, well anyway, that is all i want to say. host: do you think i bitterness will always be there? is there anything to make that go away? caller: nah. for a marine, i guess. [laughter] host: did you want to keep going, ron? caller: no, i don't think so. i like to listen to the people who call in.
8:20 am
i always tune in and listen in the morning. i wish he would go on 24 hours a day sometimes. you got a be some kind of night person to call and bury -- person to call in. host: we do our best from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. show tourning over our the legacy of the vietnam war. we have a line for vietnam veterans, families of vietnam veterans. forme is on the line families of vietnam veterans in anderson, california. caller: good morning, sir. host: go ahead. caller: i am calling as a veteran and as a family member. i live in shasta county, california. our board of supervisors are displacing veterans living on
8:21 am
other people's properties. there is an ordinance that you can't have someone living in a mobile home in your property. i can't have somebody come to my and pitch a tent and the back of my yard. i live on two acres. if i was to have a veteran come here, he could not stay here. he would have to live on the streets. this is what many of our counties are doing in california. yes, california. they are displacing veterans because of some ungodly reason why. i still have not gotten the reason why we do this. i hear people say, thank you for your service. i want to smack them. i don't want to hear that out of your mouth the way you treat us. believesngenuous and -- beliefs about us make me mad.
8:22 am
these people are now homeless. now they are going to be on the streets and now harassed by this -- by the police even more. this is atrocious. yet, we hired the same employees to represent us. this is getting ridiculous, people. we have got to do something different and hire employees to represent us in our governments, please. killing stop saying you appreciate my service and show me you appreciate my service. thank you very much. jerome anderson, california. randy is in the louisiana for the line for all others. good morning. caller: good morning. . have been listening to this i had to sign up for the draft right out of high school. hello? host: go ahead, randy.
8:23 am
caller: i had to sign up for the draft right out of high school. i missed it -- i missed vietnam by the skin of my teeth because i flunked in grade school. it was a blessing in disguise, i guess. i found out years later my father was going to send me to canada. i was ready to sign up and join the navy. oil i worked for popemobile -- then i worked for mobile oil and the merchant marines. the met a lot of people in -- a lot of people from vietnam, and they are messed up. one guy had to turn his head to swallow. he was a mess. he would talk to himself. it was sad.
8:24 am
placest put him in a where he can still work. but i went to the wall. high,a teacher in junior her husband was killed there. i went to that wall. it was on a rainy night. -- it waslly you really eerie. especially with the soldiers in marching mode with their ponchos on. and it was eerie. good thing they put this memorial up. a lot of those people did not want to go. they were forced to go. it is a shame. they probably got guards there. people would probably want to desecrate it. for wasting 58,000 lives.
8:25 am
that's all i got to say. host: that is ready in louisiana. on twitter, photo deemed is a vietnam that. we did our duty and got nothing in return. forever connected to vietnam veterans. orlando in trinidad, colorado is a vietnam veteran. good morning. thanks good morning and for accepting my call. i have a million things i want anyway, one of my biggest complaints is the way they created the va medical clinics. there is a standard. if you are an officer, you get super treatment. if you are in the em ranks, they treat you like cattle. i was born in denver, colorado.
8:26 am
i -- my parents were born in --orado, but i am a mexican i am from mexican descent. we really get treated terribly. i had to with 1.5 years at an appointment at the colorado va. the way they treat us is miserable. 9.5 months in the jungle in vietnam. i had no free ride. i told them to treat us a little bit better, you know? many vietnam veterans -- are a million things i like to say. thank you very much. host: thank you for the call from california. you talk about the va and
8:27 am
problems you see at the va. members of congress certainly focusing on veterans affairs and the va hospital. senator of montana, a in thecan, has a column independent record, talking about his thoughts on the va. he writes, we are failing our veterans and are ill-prepared to take care of our service members. the senate is moving forward to reform the u.s. department of veterans affairs based off of legislature the senator introduced. veterans in rural states like montana will always need help. veterans face higher rates of suicide, decreased access to care, and less access to employment opportunities. after urging for a new veterans center, i won't stop fighting for more rural access. if you want to read his column,
8:28 am
it is in the helene a independent record. helena independent record. talking about issues affecting veterans. opening up our phones to talk about the vietnam war and the legacy of that war. eric is in antioch, california. good morning. caller: hi. thanks for c-span. the legacy of the war is never again will we confuse the righteousness or wrongness of a war with the judgment of the warriors who fight it because it was wrong how they were treated when they came back. i had a buddy who fought in vietnam, and he had problems about it. people from afghanistan or iraq, and he cannot buy a drink while
8:29 am
he was there. it is a shame it took so long. host: let's go to kelly in bloomfield, west virginia on the line for vietnam veterans. kelly, good morning. caller: yes. as far as the legacy of the vietnam war. i just really don't think there is any. the war was fought. we left. a few years later, it was, i will turn back over to the north vietnamese. we want welcomed home. -- we were not welcomed home. when we got off the plane and went into the airport terminal, people looked at us like we were trash. i think it is a shame. today, the wars servicemen are treated different . but still, the legacy, even with iraq or anything like that, they .ight and they die
8:30 am
american soldiers come back home and they are torn up, loss of limbs, arms or whatever. it is just left. as far as vietnam, the legacy is we could've won at war. we are talking about a country not bigger than the state of texas. we have too many rules when we go to war. we allow our own servicemen to die because of the rules of the war. thank you. host: we are showing our viewers now a live shot from outside the tomb of the unknown, where the is takingath laying place at arlington national cemetery. that will be at 11:00 a.m. we will have live coverage of that on c-span. but for the next one point hours, we are talking about the vietnam war. this question that we have is,
8:31 am
what is the legacy of the -- what has the legacy of the vietnam war been? caller: good morning and happy memorial day. i should say, honorable memorial day. it is hardly anything to celebrate as far as happiness for the number of lives lost serving our country. veteran. was a in 1964,the air force i volunteered right out of school. ours inerved three t southeast asia. one in country and one in thailand flying into cam ron bay. -- i2 -- in 1972, 19 73 wanted to inject into this discussion if you would allow me to, just bury -- does very
8:32 am
briefly, feeling that the war, the principal of the war was not wrong. ok? i think we went over there to help the south enemies people -- south the beings -- the south .ietnamese people what was wrong was how it was treated by the politicians. and how the veterans were treated when they returned from serving their country. but as far as our actual involvement in vietnam, no, i don't think it was a wrong war. i would like to set the record vietnameseat the people welcomed our presence. the other thing that was wrong about the war was john kerry returning from vietnam, and making a lot of false accusations during soldier testimony. what was wrong about the war was john kerry coaching people that
8:33 am
didn't even serve in vietnam to testify as being vietnam veterans. realize,nt people to what it should be, instead of what is being painted by the obama administration. back to my service in vietnam. i am bury proud of my service in vietnam -- i am very out of my service in vietnam. richard nixon got us out of the honorable method. granted, a lot of people would object to how it was done during operation linebacker when we had enough and started bombing quite heavily. it saved a lot of lives in the aftermath. host: ben in layton, utah.
8:34 am
today, for the second half of our program, we are going to continue to focus on the vietnam war. but we are changing up the question. we are asking our viewers who served in the non-family members, friends, talking about the experience of coming home from that conflict. we want to hear your stories the last half of our program about what it was like to come home after serving in vietnam. we will keep to those stories in just a minute. you can start calling in right now. here is another interview we conducted last week at the memorial at the wall. we caught up with the man who helped organize on our flights for veterans coming to washington d.c. [video clip] host: my name is kenny white. and the flight leader on the kansas honor flight. i have several of the red shirts you have seen best buy here. veteranst the seven and we have been doing this a while. we have already worked through
8:35 am
world war ii. on this trip, i have world war ii, 30 korea, and 30 vietnam. and i am a vietnam vet myself. i was in 68/69. first infantry division. big red one. >> you also mentioned you are writer --a legion rider. there is probably 4000 and kansas and what we do is we do anything we can to serve the fallen in the military. and we do funerals. we sometimes average one a day. that is the part we don't like. we also have the patriot guard their. they are the same guy -- it is the same guy, but we do a funeral as a legion rider, a vet that passed away.
8:36 am
we call of the patriot guard, that is somebody killed in action or a first responder killed in the line of duty. >> you mentioned you have been arrived with the american legion for a long time. what is the relationship like andeen the vietnam veterans the iraq and afghanistan veterans? what do they teach each other? legions, theerican majority of my post right now is vietnam vet. we want to figure out to get the others involved. i do have some of those. but we are getting old. we want to get the younger guys involved. it is the largest military organization there is. get a lot done. we serve our military in several ways. we do want to get the younger involved. >> do you find it is harder to get the younger vets to talk
8:37 am
about their experiences? >> no. that is much. your vietnam guys other the want to speak less about what has happened to them. >> why is that? >> the way they were treated with me came home. we talked about that at our banquet. we hope the bitterness is gone. the memories will be there, but we hope the bitterness is gone. personally, i got treated great. ill memories. my family treated me great when i came home. but the other guys, there is a lot more ptsd now. we did not call it in vietnam. we do call that now. and the suicide rate is barry hi. that is a big -- and the suicide rate is very high. >> you say you hope the bitterness is gone. someone -- if someone is watching and wants to help, what would be your recommendation? >> get involved with the
8:38 am
american legion. we watch people at the wall. you, another veteran -- another vietnam vet can spot that guy. >> what do you mean? >> memories. we have happy traveling wall, and there are people that come out of the middle of the night because they don't want to see people. we guarded 24 hours a day. there are guys who are having trouble that come out in the middle of the night. >> any advice you give to the members of the public to try to help that bitterness go away? >> support them in any way that you can. the public may not understand the problem but another vietnam vet will. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we are asking our viewers to call in about the experience of those coming back home from the vietnam war.
8:39 am
we have a special line forbid nonveterans --202-748-8000. for members of vietnam veteran'' family --202-748-8001. .ll others-202-748-8002 tell us about the experiences since coming home. in justt to your calls a minute. want to show you some of the headlines from newspapers around the united states today on this memorial day. or is the "detroit free press," we start asking who are our were heroes? heroes? the story there come a day to remember those who served. the picture there at the canton cemetery that encompasses many acres. rome for thousands more that
8:40 am
should last five decades. thecan see the story in atlantic journal. the star tribune at a minnesota for new restingplace veterans. one more paper for you -- front page of the dallas morning news colors -- towns' colors. a 13-year-old in a boy scout uniform posting the flag in front of his home. taking your calls. the question, what was your experience coming home from vietnam? frostburg, maryland is up first. robert. good morning. caller: good morning. host: but what is experience like coming home? caller: my experience coming home was buried devastating. i couldn't believe the rejection we received when we got back home. it still bothers me today. -- i have hadngs
8:41 am
for my bury good friends commit suicide because they could not do with the rejection. one -- when the last one committed suicide, i made it up in my mind i would never see another war veteran disrespected. vathe prairie point hospital, i saw veterans being physically and psychologically abused, and i reported it to my congressman, and he did a wonderful job stopping it. since that time, my name has been blackballed and some of the stuff that has happened to me as a result of retaliation is devastating. i can't even sometimes think about living with it. i am never going to see another war veteran disrespected, abused without reporting it.
8:42 am
senator andan and senator ben carson, these people to accept the lies that were destroying my name. these people on the right to be treated with dignity and respect. right now, i live with the horrible consequences of this destruction of my name. these people get on television and they say, we respect our veterans. we love them. and that is bs. i am so sorry to see what happened to my vietnam vets. it is a devastating thing. and the country does not appreciate the veterans like they need to. host: robert, the number we occasionally show when we do these segments about veterans' issues is the number for the suicide prevention hotline. line theyns' crisis have up 24 hours ago.
8:43 am
one 800-273-8255. caller: good morning. the congress -- the reason why i called this the congressman that ?as on, joe pitts session he expressed exactly what happened. i was in vietnam in february of 1965. it was a hawk missile. there weren't any marine troops any -- troops in vietnam at the time. the first casualties were outside --
8:44 am
when begun got there, we understood, we were on 300 27, and understood we could get blown up any time. to seven meters above the valley -- 327 meters above the valley. north vietnam did not have any aircraft. that i was aelt sergeant. i was a young sergeant. my buddy was another young sergeant. we need sergeant and less than four years, which is outstanding. time thatought at the we were there just to get wiped out so they could escalate the war. out, it, as we found really came to roost. we came home after only about four months because we were
8:45 am
rotated back as being the most vulnerable. back, the only people that were there were my parents and my wife and my son. that was it. all you did was you got home. now, the war had not -- the antiwar movement had not gotten big enough at the time for anybody to treat as badly, but for years and years and years until about 1991, the gulf war, we never talked about it. i never talked about being in vietnam. i was a computer design engineer. it just was not fashionable. when those kids came home from the iraq war, the first iraq war, and they had a nice parade in washington and everything -- thatt, they released release me as a man to finally
8:46 am
appreciate what we had done and nobody ran, nobody talked about being afraid or anything like that. we did not talk about that. we just talked about doing the job. we just talked about, when we had penetration, that we defended ourselves. rode through some of these villages coming out of the 327, we went through a little town that we called dark patch. the garbage trucks would go through, it was the only road to get there. and the little the enemies -- the little kids would try to get up on the side of the truck with the rotten vegetables and rotten fruit because they did not have anything to eat. we felt so sorry for them. we felt so compelled to help them out. but when begun back, we never talked about it. it just was not popular.
8:47 am
when the parades of 1991 -- it released us. even though we did not get killed or anything, it released heroes, but that we did every bit as much as those who have the big parades. it made me proud. from then on until now, i wear a marine corps insignia on my golf bag. veteransot of vietnam and they are all proud of their service. was that.elease and i thank congressman joe pitts. your thank you for sharing story. that is the question for viewers and the last hour and 15 minutes on the program. we also want to hear from family members to talk about the
8:48 am
from when their family members came home. gordon, you are on the line for families. caller: good morning. thanks for having the show. works incousin, j, who a radiator shop up in portland, oregon, was there. before the war, and high school, he had excellent grades and languagehe russian and played in the school orchestra. he was a nerd. a never ending radical dude. great guy. war, a lot of drug, a lot of alcohol, could not hold down a job for years, or a relationship. he is doing better now, but he
8:49 am
is still cynical and bitter and angry about it. so, i just wanted to convey that. everyone agrees, j webb's, the vietnam book on the war. it is and excellent book. this fellow that was on 327, he reminds me of a chapter in that book called "dangling bait." thanks a lot for the show. have a good day. thank you. host: gordon and laramie, wyoming. one of our colors mentioned being one of the early american troops in vietnam. we caught up at the vietnam veterans memorial last week with one veteran who was also one of those early soldiers in country. here is his story. [video clip] >> tony, topeka, kansas.
8:50 am
i walked to chances, to a sub late of kansas. i served in 1960, 30 years. towards -- two tour ins vietnam. >> talk about the years and vietnam. 1960 was beautiful. the french had just pulled out and we were going in on the war was starting. but the land was absolutely gorgeous. and it was basically, we were in there to support. i went to college when i came back. we were taking people out. >> what was the difference you saw in the people and the u.s. personnel that were there? troops were pulling out.
8:51 am
everybody was nervous, but not nervous to the point that it was a war zone. in, everybody was in a war zone. nobody was comfortable. every body sweat every day. >> what was your job is marked -- what was your job? >> helicopter pilot. i flew four missions per day. >> i saw you touching a few names on the wall. actually six. two i brought out that were wounded and state. >> how often have you been here? >> it is my sixth visit. >> what you keep coming back? >> it means a lot to me. they are my boys. >> what you think about the most? >> you know, you worry, or think about when we did the pullout of all the people who were left
8:52 am
behind. the guys that came out that came out with limbs that were gone. and the guys and never made it through it. hour, you would be in vietnam. but once you hit the beaches, a lot of them were done. >> have you been back to vietnam costamare >> -- >> 10 years ago. corporations have gone in and made it a beautiful country. the united states has built it like we do. >> you mentioned, you were on and on our flight? witht of kansas, it works veterans who are be a non-world war ii, or korea, that need to come out and need to walk the wall any to experience the wall. >> what do they gain from that experience? >> memories and closure. closure is a big thing. >> have you gotten closure? >> no, i am still working on it.
8:53 am
>> do you think you will get it to market >> hopefully. i am 74 years old. i will come back five more times before i die. hopefully by then, i will get closure. andcan't see somebody lose not keep his memory. your brain banks it and you will always remember somebody in your arms or something else. we will be showing you those interviews all morning here as they continue to talk about the vietnam war. morning on that, this on memorial day morning here on the "washington journal." twitter, edwin writes, if there is a legacy of the vietnam war, it is how we were treated when we came home. as a combat marine, i will never forget. writes, we have
8:54 am
nothing to be ashamed of. political leadership has the blame. we are getting your stories. the question -- what was your experience coming home from the it not? john is in west virginia. john, good morning. caller: good morning. first of all, i would like to thank you for this show. excuse me if i get a little emotional. the guys that i know that served in vietnam, you can only really talk to a combat veteran about your experiences. they are the only ones who , notstand and know necessarily your experience, but they know a similar experience. i always attend it to childbirth. men will never understand what women go through with childbirth. combat veterans will only understand from another combat veteran. that is 1.i would like to make.
8:55 am
-- that is one point i would like to make. excuse me. let me breathe a little bit. one thing i have not heard mentioned is the atmosphere and america during the war, during the vietnam war. gase was really no rationing, people weren't recycling for the war effort or anything. people could sit back, watch the evening news, here about the body counts. almost every day, there was video footage of the vietnam war. also played into when we came home. i came home in 1970. were antiwar protests going on. home with theme
8:56 am
first infantry division. kansasd in fort raleigh, . from there, flying home, i had my uniform on because i was fly military standby. i got to pittsburgh, close to home, did not need the uniform anymore. it wasn't embarrassing. it wasn't doing me any good. people did not talk about it. host: what did you do with the uniform, john? >> i still have it and showed my grandkids. host: what did they say? caller: they are too young. [laughter] in fact, i have a 22-year-old becomer -- she has just interested in the last couple of years, what was the vietnam war all about? host: what you say about that,
8:57 am
john? is so big. with, wei was there weren't there because we were .atriots you talk about patriotism, it was unpatriotic not to be there. ,ury a few of the guys i know wanted to up who were spread democracy, they were just there to do what their government told them they should do. time, and get themselves in her buddies home. that was most of my experience, just bringing people home. and once we got back, we cannot talk about it. host: i appreciate you talking about it with us on "washington journal." we also have a line for family
8:58 am
members of veterans. stewart is on that line from virginia. good morning. caller: good morning. i got a couple of good stories for you. number one, i am a bet, but i did not want to call on the vietnam vet's line. i have two friends that did. air trafficwas an controller. when he came back, landed in los angeles and was walking, and somebody got in his face and asked him how many babies did you kill? and nine -- my wife and i have a friend that has been a friend for 20 years. she lost a brother in vietnam. he drowned. her brother, this was a dude, a big dude, so they put him on an m 60 machine gun. he was with the first act
8:59 am
calvary. tip of the spear. years andy and for 35 27 firefights. the last one, he got wounded real bad. he laid down for a half a day during monsoon season and the water was passed his nose. they finally got him on a helicopter. to walter reed, they patched him up and he was there a few month and he told me, stewart, you know, i got home and i wanted to go'o party. and i had a little too much to drink. and twooming down i-95 state troopers pulled him over. he said, i just got home from vietnam. i have been in walter reed.
9:00 am
he pulls his shirt up and shows his car. he said the two state troopers looked at him and shook their heads and said, can you get home? , escortingis wingmen him all the way home. that's just the way it was. these guys did go through hell. they are very proud to have served. thank you. massachusetts in on the line for all others. do you know someone who served in vietnam? boston, wee in marched in the streets to protest the vietnam war back in the 1960's and 1970's. today, vietnam veterans who are members of veterans for peace and that they are not allowed to march in the other veterans.
9:01 am
they have tried, they gone to court, it's disgraceful how they've been treated. end ofd to march at the the parade behind the street sweepers. host: what is veterans for peace? caller: it is a national , veterans who are in favor of peace. this group is named after general butler who is famous for saying "war is a racket." which i've always believed. these people deserve so much better than they are getting, it is absolutely outrageous, the endure is sothey inexcusable. we have not learned a dam thing from vietnam.
9:02 am
-- damn thing from vietnam. i also protested against our involvement in iraq and afghanistan. we still have a vigil for peace once a month. our foreign policy is so insane. host: when you look back on what vietnamto protest the war, did it make a difference? are you proud of what you did? caller: i'm very proud. the street with my stroller. i was a student at boston university. a hot and of activism, along with harvard and so forth. -- a hotbed of activism.
9:03 am
we were marching because of the veterans, we knew they had no drafted,hey were being they did not want to be there and they were not responsible for what they were required to endure overr -- and there. comingour young men an back -- young men coming back, mangled -- we are sending them into ridiculous situations. ,e don't belong over there we've destroyed the whole area, destabilize the whole area -- destabilized the whole area i . having a strong
9:04 am
military, but not sending them off to pointless battles. host: we are showing our viewers live shots right now of the tomb of the unknown at arlington national cemetery. the annual memorial day wreathlaying, we will have live coverage here on c-span. we have about an hour left on what wason journal." the experience of those coming home from vietnam? sheldon, good morning. caller: i wanted to commend isabella for her comments. it is right on point. my experience coming home from vietnam was, i was welcomed, i was glad. my community and family will be
9:05 am
home. that's welcomed me home. there was the civil rights movement going on at that time. a black that could not eat at or gete lunch counter was discriminated against and we cannot understand it. the countless lives commit lives,s -- countless
9:06 am
millions and millions of vetsamese civilians -- came home wounded and hurt. health care was really terrible . i'm glad there was an antiwar movement. some of my friends were killed. the whole thing of war has to be looked at. , theost of civilian lives people that are doing the fighting, for whom and for what? a vietnam veteran intrigue port, louisiana. shreveport, louisiana.
9:07 am
these tweets -- we've got lines for family members of vietnam veterans in this segment of the "washington journal." in austin, that line texas. good morning. caller: thank you for this program. i certainly appreciate this memorial day more than most. host: you are breaking up. i will put you on hold. vincent in alabama, a vietnam veteran. go ahead. caller: yes, sir.
9:08 am
i served in vietnam in 1969-1970. when i came home, landed in l.a. and came on home to birmingham, alabama. the greyhound was on strike. since i've been out of the marine corps, i've been trying to locate a couple of my buddies from boot camp and i cannot , but i will -- i went up there to washington in 1992 and saw the wall. host: if you were able to contact one of those buddies, what would be the first thing you would say to them? i just be glad to hear
9:09 am
from one of them, maybe two -- it is hurting me right now because i cannot contact nobody. it breaks my heart to see the way our military is doing stripped -- being stripped and not operating like they should. vet.d was a world war ii i'm wanting to come up there to the monument, bring his purple heart to him. appreciate if i could get somebody to help me -- i've missed the -- i've had times to work a lot, now on disability, waiting for things through the v.a. i've watched the hearings.
9:10 am
it breaks my heart that the v.a. is not acting a little faster to take care of our vietnam vet. it would thrill me to no end to see the wall come july 4 or maybe in november. host: we talked with a few vets last week. they were on flights to washington. with with our interviews those at the vietnam better its memorial last week, we also caught up with members of congress who served during of congress.embers
9:11 am
one is congressman steve pearce. we caught up with him at the vietnam veterans memorial last week. he stopped by to talk with us about his recent efforts to honor all veterans with a solo flight around the world. [video clip] >> i'm congressman steve pearce e, second district of new mexico. >> when we talk about the legacy of the vietnam war, is there a difference for you now? >> i still think of the nation away atress walking that point -- either commit to the war or commit not to do the war and get them out. don't put them there.
9:12 am
we were getting our training missions back in the states -- whatever we need, let's do it, or bring them home. host: you've to honor veterans in your own way. recently with a flight you took around the world. >> it's been 50 years since i graduated from high school and i to 65. -- in 1965. 67-68 were the years with a lot i had a lifelong desire to fly around the world in a single engineer. -- singlengine airplane.
9:13 am
we flew around the world. still have two legs left to go. we wanted to dedicate something more than just a trip to the cemetery this memorial day. thatnt to honor the kids went over there with their ambitions and hopes and dreams and did not come home. for me, it was very personal. half of them were from our class. it's my way of saying to the nation, thank you very much. host: is there closure for you? >> i reached closure for five years ago. i made a trip to hanoi from saigon. stopped in a small village where the general had grown up.
9:14 am
we stopped in front of a house down ay pulled and i said iag will buy it and he said, i will give it to you. i was a soldier in the north. i said if i'm going to take your flag, young to take a congressional -- you have to take a congressional ballpoint pen. you can be on different sides of a conflict and yet, heyou still come to terms with the impact on the humans on the other side.
9:15 am
we left memorials across thailand. it's bigger than all of us. congressman steve pearce, republican of new mexico. one of 10 current members of congress who served during vietnam. ofre's 101 total members congress who are veterans, 81 veterans in the house, 20 veterans in the senate. congressesent 18.7% of , that compares to 1971 when veterans made up 72% of the house, 78% of the senate. 45 minutes left in our program this morning, asking viewers to call in and tell us about your
9:16 am
experience. ofthe line for members veterans's families, daniel is waiting in minnesota. caller: good morning. 101 -- my dad was a green beret. not a day goes by that i don't think of him. i have pictures and all kinds of things that have to do with the war. geographic, national -- i'm 57 and i have a friend that was 10 years older than me and he was in vietnam. and is a 20 or difference was affiliated with the war 20 years before he even when it --
9:17 am
went in. that is unbelievable. he was elite of the elite, green beret my communications exp ert. i got pictures on the base in fort bragg. as far a lot i need as support, i need closure. my mother always gave and gave because her second husband was an army retired sergeant. -- my mother is still picking up the pieces. she needs help and i'm trying to help her. i know what i have to do and it's exactly what my dad did.
9:18 am
what our country needs as far as the way things are, the way things need to be done. i'd like to do what i can do. if i can come to marilyn somehow -- i've tried and tried. i have a lot of things that -- to say about what war is. right now, they don't want to --e military family members mothers and orphans of military elite will raise money to help the family members and deceased and reminisce and their hair was a.
9:19 am
there's things i don't want to talk about and won't until i have the right worsen to speak with -- right person to speak with. appreciate you sharing your family story with us. frederick is in seattle, washington. a vietnam veteran. good morning. to c-spanmmendations for allowing people to speak directly and unedited about the subject. host: appreciate that, frederick. what happened after coming back from vietnam? we've heard a lot of sad stories. , theten to the report responses. i took advantage of the g.i. bill. i don't know how many people took advantage of the g.i. bill. i wish they would say how they took advantage, made a bad
9:20 am
situation better. the media in general, this goes back to the expression that war is politics by other means. everybody agrees that war is no good. but sometimes the politicians decide to choose that. on theocused today people who enacted those policies rather than talking about how these policies got enacted. another thing that bothers me with the media is the focus on vietnam veterans. i'm a vietnam veteran. so many of us have been messed up and have not been fixed and
9:21 am
not helped out. the veterans have been shafted for years and years. damn tired of hearing all this and them not doing what they said they were going to do. you mentioned the g.i. bill. i don't have stats on bee and nonveterans who have taken advantage of the g.i. bill. times,"'s "new york about thecolumn millions of veterans who have collegeinto the classrooms thanks to that post 9/11 g.i. bill.
9:22 am
he writes -- june who is a vietnam veteran in florida. good morning. caller: good morning. i went through with my brother when he came back from vietnam -- if i get emotional, please forgive me. in hise had to lock him own bedroom at night because he would beat the walls and scream. she was afraid he would hurt her or the children. that went on for a while. we were studying in my mother's kitchen and my brother complained that he did not want to eat what was put on the table. my brother never talk about vietnam until that day and he
9:23 am
lad youu ought to be g got what you want -- don't tell me you're not going to eat. so, sit down and eat. these boys have gone through terrible things. why do we treat them the way the we do? we need to thank them every day for putting their lives on the line for us. that comment he made at the dinner table come opening up about the war, was that the beginning of a process of opening up for him or just a one-time thing? caller: that was the first time in seven years we heard anything out of his mouth about vietnam. we cannot believe what he went through.
9:24 am
he would walk in the jungle for two weeks. he was lost, but he never spoke of what happened to him until that day, we figured out -- you tol do whatever you have to stay alive. later at a family reunion, someone was talking about children and stop and he said we were accused of killing they don't realize they strapped bombs on babies over there. we would hear them crying and go to pick them up and the guy that pick them up would die. it was them doing the work and our boys get laid for it. blamed for it.t he got cancer from the agent
9:25 am
orange. he's almost 10 years younger than im and he looks 20 years older than i do. the v.a. and the government finally paid him what was due to him for getting the cancer and he's been fighting that cancer for about 10 years. i think it's wrong, what the government does to these boys. i wish i had a lot of property i -- givet these boys them a home, get them up a street -- off the street. host: fred in new orleans, louisiana. a veteran. frank out of new orleans. host: sorry about that. caller: that's all right. ninth infantry out of kansas
9:26 am
city. that has a lot of meaning to me besides the rhetoric i'm hearing. it is to memorialize the dead. i have a lot of good friends whose names are on that wall. i think of them daily. coming home was not an easy transition. i appreciate my friends who tolerated me. my wife and now my children. through all the nightmares and other things veterans typically go through. say,, i would like to thanks to harmon's family out of new orleans, when i got back from vietnam, with his brother
9:27 am
i often wonder about his family. the plunkett's, many others. it is challenging every day. i'm hoping all the other guys as their licks under the bridges, someone will talk to them and help them, like i've been helped. i appreciate you giving me time to talk. host: frank in new orleans. another vietnam veteran calling in, jeremy from illinois. good morning.
9:28 am
jerry, go ahead. caller: i was in fourth infantry division. from 1966-1967. when i got home, it was surreal. one day, you are standing in a jungle with a rifle and three days later, your home. -- you are home. i did not want to tell people where i'd been. i never held it against the protesters. i was for them because that war should have been protested. e, we hade sent ther the draft at the time and they just decided who the winners and losers were going to be and sent the losers to vietnam.
9:29 am
that's the way i felt about it. you were throwaways. host: you still feel that way? caller: yes. i'm not dead yet, so i still feel that way. i'm concerned about our country. , the way everybody is all military now. viewers -- aof our view of our viewers said they don't want people to say thank you for your service to them -- caller: i agree with them. failedrican people terribly the vietnam veterans.
9:30 am
affectedr when we were when we came home, how we were treated, no one stood on me, i never had anyone confront me, but when i saw the big parades and everything and said boy, this is a big difference from when i came home, i just got off the airplane, got in a cab and -- vietnam veterans should have had time like second world war veterans had where they would go to a resort area and have time to wind down and readjust to being human beings. , inever there was a shooting would say a silent prayer that it was not a vietnam veteran that did it because they thought we were crazy, they were afraid of us.
9:31 am
it was very discouraging and has been -- everyone is affected by war. everybody. to what degree, i don't think anybody really knows, but it affects you forever. host: we've been showing viewers our interviews we conducted at the vietnam veterans memorial. him a those we talked to pastor whose ministry has been involved in reaching out to veterans. [video clip] >> i'm richard garland from rhode island, i grew up in indiana. each time i come to washington, i come to the vietnam memorial. what if my classmates and high school in indiana was killed in action in 1966.
9:32 am
-- one of my classmates in high school. i always find his name. was lloyd he was one of those guys who was just a part of your life in high school and we lost track of each other as our lives moved on. i'm a retired pastor and so much of my ministry has dealt with the experience of veterans. i had a man who was gassed in world war i. we raised money for him. the church was filled with world dutyi men who did their and came home and did not talk about it until the end. i've done so many memorial services for those men. that became a very important
9:33 am
part of remembering who they were. , aemember one of my churches vietnam veteran struggled with he experience there and would come to the church and sit in the sanctuary and pray and sit alone. i would greet him when he came heand when he went out, but had to be alone with his experiences and all that meant to him. did not talkts about it much -- was it different for vietnam vets in general? they did not get much of a welcome when they came home. it was very difficult for them. they only talked with the people fromthought were safe other buddies, family members -- pastorsed them
9:34 am
were a difficult thing because they did not know whether they would be condemned or accepted. i look upon the role of a pastor is to let a man share his story, to help them grieve and help him heal. men were not able to grieve or heal because they held it inside. it was wrong. host: we've been asking our , the legacy of the vietnam war in your mind now. >> it is an interesting legacy. there was so much anger and so much hurt immediately afterwards. come tontry has reengage with vietnam. our president has gone there.
9:35 am
a difficult move. some people don't like it. and yet, he has decided we have to move on. if we don't move on, we are stuck in the past. now, werade partners are reengaged. we just came from the lincoln memorial. there were so many people from different countries there. this is not just our story, it is the world's story. as a pastor, i tried to interpret that for people. the legacy of vietnam is a warning and an opportunity. that we are careful not to do it , ifn for the wrong reasons there are right reasons or wrong reasons, and that we move on to engage a future that can hold
9:36 am
hope for everyone. host: we have about 25 minutes left in our program this morning. what was the experience of those coming home from vietnam. we have spent the day focusing on that. the more than 58,000 soldiers who did not make it home from vietnam those who did come home, what their experiences were. james is waiting on the line for families of vietnam veterans. new york. caller: my name is reese walters. i'm speaking on behalf of my brother who died in vietnam. my name is reese the view walters. -- reese w walters. veterans are calling me up, survivors calling me up.
9:37 am
they are asking for pictures and stuff. i just recently had a veteran's wife call. her husband just committed suicide. i've been talking to these veterans and she is going to be sending me my brother's wings that he pulled off of his .ody during the crash the eagle rescues the wounded. zone, sent into a hot they call it, they told him not to go in there, but he and the pilot said we have to get these guys out of here or else, they are going to die.
9:38 am
the wounded warriors project for nothing. i want to talk to all the veterans there to try to help them out. the wife whose husband committed suicide, she was so distraught med her down. i used to be a hospital worker for 13 years, i've seen a lot of deaths. i've seen babies, you cannot even recognize the babies -- i can imagine pulling a gun on i put these people back together, i try to. i've seen a lot of debts in 13 years -- deaths in 13 years in the hospital. host: you mentioned the wounded
9:39 am
warriors project. one other project we wanted to is the this morning veterans history project run by the american folklife center at the library of congress. makesrogram preserves and accessible the personal accounts of american war veterans so that future generations can hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities were. of war.ties people can contact the american folklife center. tom in iowa. good morning. caller: good morning. how are you? host: good, sir. corpsman was a navy in 1968 through late 1969. -- what i saw as a
9:40 am
19-year-old, picking up casualties from overseas, i was , takingets coming in , they wereetchers screaming in pain, we could not even give them pain meds. our hospitals were overflowing. one thing we had to tell them because they were expecting a -- hero's welcome we had to tell them, when we let you out on a weekend pass , doyou go anywhere public not wear your uniform. we could get written up for that
9:41 am
, but that was as protecting them. -- us protecting them. .hat was devastation am advocatingt i for. souls.n i saw in their i saw my own records -- the horror story continues. vietnam, the doctors and in 1990 mother were taking people outcome as many as they could. in 1969, they were taking
9:42 am
people out, as many as they could. i got a small injury in training. i carried that shame for not staying in to this day. every day. there is my story. host: thank you for sharing that story. --l is in washington, d c paula is in washington, d.c. caller: i'm a former wife of a vietnam veteran. position husband was a -- physician. , not directlyit because the war, but certainly our marriage did not survive
9:43 am
after a few years after he came back. suburban boston, which was an area of great antiwar activism. my husband was in vietnam and i needed to support him and i wrote him every day and we saw what was happening on television. i did not feel as if i could support this war. i felt it was wrong. it was a very schizophrenic 12 months for me when he returned. host: did you mentioned that conflict in your letters to him? caller: absolutely not. host: you talk about it when he got home? caller: i was to support him. he came from a family that his father was in world war ii.
9:44 am
the family did not see the data for 3.5 years. for 3.5 years. in very different way of thinking. when he returned, he had a need to relate to the men he related to in vietnam. we were in for devens when he came back. .- fort devens we liked the idea of being close to home. bases in thether mid-atlantic. sleeplly, he could not because it was too quiet because he was used to being near the chopper bed when patients were coming in.
9:45 am
he did not suffer the physical aspects relative to what we see i don't know how to later,e this -- 46 years people are going for recreation as aetnam and visiting it vacation spot and here, after years of this auction -- years splitsruction, family from everything we've heard this morning, war does not make a lot of sense to me, to be able to go and take a holiday at the scene , whereence and disease so many people were hurt and people of other cultures. mike is in norwood, massachusetts.
9:46 am
good morning. you are on "washington journal." caller: good morning. my name is mike cunningham. i have two messages i want to give. one to my government and 12 fellow veterans -- one to fellow veterans. to the government, before we get into wars and everything -- they say ignorance and arrogance. we should understand what's going on before we get involved. anyhow.nvolved my message to my fellow veterans, especially ones with , write your story out. i did that. i wrote a book about vietnam.
9:47 am
it helped me tremendously. write, don't even worry about publishing it. just write for yourself and for your children. v.a. yourself of the exclusively for veterans with ptsd. they helped me immeasurably. host: can i ask you a question? , whaturious on twitter us to askhave liked you when you came home from war? caller: what you can do for us. when i was in vietnam, i was 18 years old. i came home at 19 years old.
9:48 am
i was just confused and everything. veterans.rt the know that we have someone there -- all the politicians and abouthing, they talk praising the veterans and everything but when it comes -- less talk and more action by politicians and everything. support the veterans, real support, not just rhetoric. in fredericksburg, texas. also a vietnam that. vet.ietnam
9:49 am
good morning. caller: i was over there in 1968 and 19 629. -- 1969. , was in a critical job code disc jockey. rock 'n roll and country-western shows, etc. i could never get any time off, a leave or even a long weekend. show going fora 24 hours a day, seven days a week. my wife was pregnant and i left behind a young girl. i cannot get back to even meet her half way. when i got back, the baby was seven months old. i missed a lot.
9:50 am
on the flight back from a theercial carrier government contracted, people doing baggage stole everything we brought back. little whatith two a wooden elephants. as i'm walking into the terminal , that's when i got my first killer.""baby i started feeling ill. host: were there people there waiting? caller: they were in passing. were air forcey children or anything, just young adults. --was a guy who spit on me
9:51 am
clinic, a, went to a hospital the military took me to. i started to collapse. a candy striper. wake him up when his flight is ready. , sweetwhat she did little gal wiped off his desk and put a blanket under my head and that's where i stayed until 5:30 when i caught my flight to denver. my dad was a silver star winner i was proud to be in the military.
9:52 am
i was going to dress up. host: as you think back through that story, who do you remember more clearly, the person who spit on you or the woman who helped clear the desk? caller: the sweet little candy striper. she was very understanding. i went to a restroom in stapleton and put on my phone dress with three rows of new ribbons. cab and this cabbie took me with my duffel bag to denver where my wife was with the new baby. i told him to stop a block away. said, if i were you come i would not have put my neighborhood up -- my uniform
9:53 am
on. the cab driver stopped a block luck, nohe said good charge, thank you for your service. , my knocked on the door wife is at the door and she said , hi, i suppose you would like to see your new daughter. that's the way it was for the next 14 years. it was real disappointing. my dad was a silver star winner, lofted -- lost his left arm. a great company commander. damn, god bless those guys in world war ii.
9:54 am
they sure did not treat them like they are treating us that's it. host: huntsville, alabama. a family member of a vietnam veteran. ,aller: i wanted to say quickly my dad called and said this program was going on, so i just tuned in. i wanted to say quickly that i him for hisk service. and my uncle as well. , and thank you for all you've done. i love you. that's all i wanted to say. host: david in bellevue, florida. a vietnam veteran. what was your experience like coming home from vietnam? in in 1964ce i went
9:55 am
and got out in 1967, there was not the turmoil that was going on after 1968 as far as antiwar and all the sentiments against vietnam. i came home in the night and assimilated into the culture of the day and that is where the culture shock was. motown to jefferson , then got hung up in the hippie antiwar sentiment. realize the frugality and the futility of war, what it does to people. i got emotional about my brothers and sisters coming home with maimed -- injuries that would change the rest of their life.
9:56 am
war isgered me that the not fought for any other purpose but to further enhance the military-industrial complex and war's profit. thecame angry at government, the policymakers, not the vets. potvets will all we say we for each other, not for any cause. came out and as soon as i realized that, i would have discussions with world war ii vets, it was a different situation. i would be against the vietnam war, talking to another vet who was for world war ii and the
9:57 am
vietnam war because it was a pride thing. i got over the pride once you start to realize what war is about and the consequences of it. to this day, one thing we all have in common, there's not one person that will not end up orbing were weeping -- weeping in their older age because of that experience. their whole lives have resulted in having to weep at 70 years old. , got cancer in my mid-50's agent orange exposure and i'm still fighting with my government to get a benefit from for agent orange based on outdated material they used to qualify people.
9:58 am
cancer was not on a list for 1992. i have to fight an appeal. my own government at 70 years old. sums it up.much they want war, but they don't give people who fight of the biggest industry in our country, weapons and the technology that goes along with weapons and the profits that are made. thank you for sharing your thoughts. those whoate all called in, whether it's a veteran, family member of a veteran or those just sharing their stories from that time.
9:59 am
a couple programming notes before our program ends -- this week, "washington journal" will border from the mexico in laredo, texas, talking about illegal immigration in that area , citizenship, the deportation laws and thursday's focus will be on trade. that is wednesday and thursday starting at 7:00 eastern here on the "washington journal." will be's a show, we joined by richard williams of george mason university. talking about nutrition labels. we will be joined by jack hitt, negativity writer with -- a contributing writer with "smithsonian magazine." talking about vehicles that have the ability to become airborne.
10:00 am
we will be talking with libertarian presidential candidate gary johnson. his policy proposals and the impact he might have on campaign 2016. that begins tomorrow at 7:00 eastern. have a nice memorial day. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] day,ming up this memorial a medal of honor recipient tells a story of serving in afghanistan from 2003-2011. after that, we take you to arlington national cemetery where president obama lays everything but tomb of the unknowns. at noon, several commencement addresses from colleges and universities around the country that


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on