Intermission: When Not Speaking Up As a Vietnam Vet’s Daughter is Unacceptable

I apologize right now to my followers for the temporary deviation from this blog’s theme. However I simply cannot remain silent on this one…

Recently, our President has taken it upon himself to repeatedly criticize the late Senator John McCain, a former Vietnam war POW, and respected Navy veteran.

I really do not care why.

But what I care about is the number of Americans who are standing by and saying NOTHING. And of those Americans, the number of American Military Service Members and Veterans who are saying NOTHING, or saying it quietly.

To those soldiers past and present I say I’ve already watched as you have stood silent and allowed noncitizens who served beside you be deported. And now you are staring at your shoes while a United States President denigrates a decorated war veteran – your brother.

I am not a service member. But I am the daughter of a three combat tour Green Beret who served his country in Korea and twice in Vietnam. And if you don’t have the guts, allow me.




I watched MY guys serve in Vietnam to the loud and nasty criticisms of the American people to the extent that we did not dare say or admit our fathers were even IN the U.S. Military all while 58,220 of them came home unremarked and unacknowledged in body bags; I watched the rest of MY guys come home with missing limbs and undiagnosed, untreated PTSD to people who SPIT on them; I watched MY guys grieve at the Wall while seeing NEW guys come home from the Middle East and be called “Heroes” for doing their jobs.

And now, not enough of you are standing up for a man who served his country as a POW and then as a U.S. Senator and Presidential candidate. Why? Because even as a good soldier he lived his conscience? Because everyone is afraid of the big bully on the block OR because you are willing to turn a blind eye to ANYTHING this man does to get whatever self-serving thing it is you want?

I really don’t care why. I don’t want to hear excuses from Military Service members.

Where was the outrage right there in that Ohio campaign rally hall? Where are the Veterans groups? Let me tell you where one news article said: “REFRAINING FROM POLITICAL COMMENTARY.”

Well I have had enough. This is bigger than “disappointment.” Let this Military Brat set your socks on straight…

JM2           At the John McCain Memorial in VIETNAM…


Nobody deserves thanks for funeral services but the soldier in the box and the family mourning him. For the rest of us it is an HONOR to pay tribute to the fallen.

Nobody has a right to criticize a U.S. Veteran’s honor or performance but his fellow soldiers, and the peoples of countries impacted by said war. NOBODY.

 –Especially nobody who evaded military service. Especially civilians who CANNOT IMAGINE what war is like and the price paid to survive one.

Stand up, soldiers…I’m talking to all of you. Defend your brother.

Or don’t expect the average American to throw parades and call YOU a hero when you come home, or trust your voice to say what it is you need as a veteran or active duty member enough to VOTE for whatever you ask.

I was raised to believe the Military protected its own…that “we” (even dependents) were all family… I don’t care what branch you serve or served in. I don’t care if you are a soldier’s parents or children or comrade or drinking buddy: It’s time to close ranks. John McCain is family. OUR family.

But then I am just the daughter of a Vietnam Veteran. Maybe times have changed…

….Oh, retreat Hell!!!

De opresso liber.

The only picture I have of my Dad in Vietnam…fading fast…

32 thoughts on “Intermission: When Not Speaking Up As a Vietnam Vet’s Daughter is Unacceptable

  1. Yes! Thank you for speaking out (from the wife of a disabled combat veteran who served as an Army Ranger). I’m sharing this with my veteran spouses group at the Vet Center most who are spouses of Vietnam veterans.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. And thank them for serving too, Charli because we know what it is certainly like– and give your husband my respects and appreciation for his service.

      I could not speak out as a child of a soldier, and as a young adult I did not think it was my place. I know better now, and by golly I will speak up for the men I watched in training on post, the guys who were not much older than me who were drafted, dads like mine who volunteered, those who went MIA or did not come home at all, and the ones who served time as POWs. Vietnam vets were and are MY guys (and gals), every one. They always will be. And I think on each one of them every Veteran’s day, every weary soldier I remember getting off planes in empty airports, wives hugging them in dark corners, children looking at their fathers in uniform, in awe.

      They still awe me. And it’s time this country gave them a little respect, one John McCain at a time.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. KC, I am appalled by the lack of courage shown by so many, who fail to speak up. Sixty-four thousand young American young men died for our country. Trump, and numerous members of his ilk, faked a bodily injury to avoid the draft, as well as many who now serve in our Congress as senators and representatives. Yet, most do not speak out against Trump’s deranged out-bursts, regarding a true American hero, John McCain. It is amazing the number of male cowards who can’t show the least strength of character. Thank you for this wonderful documentary.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. One of the things our military fights for is Freedom of Speech and everyone being allowed their own opinion. Some of Cain’s fellow prisoners were the first to taint his reputation by saying he had cooperated with the enemy in exchange for survival. So it all boils down to a matter of opinion. If people are forced to honor a man they may or may not believe in – what kind of country do you call that?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m fine with opinions; I’m not fine with disrespect. As I said, the only people entitled to criticize a veteran for what he or she did in war is his or her fellow soldiers and the peoples of the countries impacted by that war. The rest of us have only our faith in the individual soldier. But from where I stand all soldiers deserve simple respect for their service — whether it is in Iraq or Vietnam; we don’t all get “clean” wars where we get to wear black or white hats, where our own nation is firmly behind the years of our service.

      I saw that with Vietnam, with kids who cried in the back of a classroom because their dads or brothers went MIA or were KIA and they couldn’t tell anyone for the overt hostility. I saw that with a disabled vet double amputee who looked up at me and said, “I lost my legs, my family…everything. And nobody ever said thank you.” No amount of parades and flag waving can fix that moment for Vietnam vets now. ALL we can give them is respect.

      Every one of us has accorded this President the respect of his office, despite our revulsion to many of his policies and statements; we have been good soldiers. And when that same President of the United States in return attacks a veteran for questioning his own policies and motivations, for not kowtowing to him enough, it is an attack on that very Free Speech you mention. I simply say it is time to stop the character assault in particular on Vietnam veterans, and in this case by way of John McCain. If that means a united front, wouldn’t that be a nice change?

      And I thank you, by the way sir, for your comment. Because I read your blog and respect YOU immensely, and value your own educated opinion. We all have dogs in this hunt…a good reason to respect each other in general. Again, I thank you…and I recommend your blog to all fans of military history, for it is AWESOME.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I thank you for your kind words and for further explaining your opinion. Never have I not been behind the Vietnam veterans or veterans in general, but we must remember they are as human as we are and there are occasional human errors.
        I have not seen any respect given to this president, but that is a personal opinion. I myself agree with him in some areas and others not. I had serious doubts about the last pres. as well, especially the last 4 years, but political banter can go on forever. One of the many reasons I detest politics!

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Let this be a lesson to all….Once a Military Brat…ALWAYS Military….to the core. We stand behind the soldiers we lived beside and watched the price of service fall upon first hand. They cannot help but be our would-be older brothers and sisters, our cousins, our fathers and now mothers…In that way we cannot divest ourselves of the obligation to have their backs. We may not be as visible, but we can speak out and we darn sure can vote!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I have held my tongue repeatedly… but this issue hits home, because with every tweet I see a squad jogging around a post somewhere, battalion pennant waving, singing cadence as they practice for who knows what war experience. I cannot ever know what happened to all of the soldiers I watched from parade stands or quarters windows or on parade fields. But I know their integrity is off limits to people who did not serve.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I absolutely agree. I have vet friends and family and it hurts To have them so callously and thoughtlessly disrespected in general and to have 45 degrade a national hero degraded them all and everything their service stands for. Continue to speak. You’ve got great words to share. It’s hard for me to hold my tongue too. But I’m very soft spoken so it sneaks up on people. 😏

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Well said. I live in New Zealand and from here I don’t know how your President gets away with all the things he says. There is no decency to him. The longer it goes on the more unhinged he sounds and his supporters don’t care.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Part of the reason is he ran on the objection to the necessity of “political correctness”…which people resent. However, PC is also about living in a polite, racially and ethnically diverse society — something a lot of his base opposes, preferring a white America. While watching what one says can be a minefield, it is a necessary one. And if we are to remain not only an example of civilization, but a decent example, this kind of dialogue has got to be the reason we elevate PC, not abandon it. I only hope that the rest of the world remembers we are a nation of many people and many ideals…a good many of whom do not agree with this man or his followers. And never will.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I personally think it might backfire. Those of us who have been couch-sitters are no longer content to let obnoxious people overrun sanity. We can and should always have disagreements in order to best represent ALL of our nation’s peoples. But it also means we remain respectful — not conform by way of demand or temper tantrum.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m saying it again…Once a Brat, ALWAYS Military… Those who shout need to realize some of us are going to shout back. And since nothing gets accomplished, we should all settle down and stop defaming each other — especially with regard to Vietnam vets, who have endured quite enough of that… I am DONE listening to it without challenging it!

      Liked by 1 person

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