Sara's Survey Questions

 

Sara, a high school student requested information from Vietnam Veterans for a class report.  The following are the responses I gave to her questions.

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1. Who are you?

John Dennison


2. When were you in Vietnam?

December 1968 to December 1969

3. What job did you do in Vietnam?

Army Medic

4. Where were you stationed?

III Corps along the Cambodian border

5. What experience left the strongest impression on you?

There were many strong impressions that remains vivid with me today.  One of the strongest would have been when my platoon leader was begging me to save his life after he had received a serious gunshot wound to the chest.

6. Was there anything that you enjoyed while you were in Vietnam?

I guess it would be the music and the Red Cross Doughnut Dollies...The girls made me feel young and like a kid again...I may have been 19 or 20 but I felt like a hundred

7. What feelings did you have about the Vietnamese people while you were in Vietnam?

At first, I felt the South Vietnamese needed our help and I was happy to be able to help. After being in South Vietnam and observing numerous young Vietnamese males of military age just hanging out doing nothing...It made me Wonder.... What am I doing here when their own people are not fighting this War.... During joint military operations with the South Vietnamese we observed the South Vietnamese using the best and newest equipment while we were using old and well used equipment. During firefights the South Vietnamese did not engage the enemy until the fighting started to break off. While lying flat on the ground, they would hold their weapons above their heads and fire them on full-automatic without aiming....No wonder they lost the war after we left. By the time I came home from Vietnam, after watching my friends being wounded and killed, I had no love for either North or South Vietnamese

8. How did you feel about the war before you went?

I was in favor of the war. We had signed a treaty with South Vietnam to come to their support (Southeast Asia Treaty Organization) in case of aggression. The military computer war games showed that we needed a base in Southeast Asia in case of a war with China. Let us not forget the domino theory.

9. Did these feelings change after you returned?

Upon my return from Vietnam, I felt we needed to be there for our National interest but not for the Vietnamese people. Today I neither hate nor dislike the Vietnamese people. In fact I dislike most of my generation. I feel they had betrayed their Country and me by protesting the war in the fashion that they did. All they did was give aid to the enemy by giving them hope. The North Vietnamese suffered a major defeat during TET 1968. The press failed to report the defeat to the American people but reported the TET Offensive as a major blow against American troops in South Vietnam. This sensationalism gave the leaders of North Vietnam new hope while adding more fuel to the fire for the protesters in America.

10. How do you feel about the war now?

We have no business fighting a war that we do not intend to win. If we go to war let the military fight the war and keep the politicians out of it. The American people have to be aware of sensationalism in the news. News organizations care mainly about ratings and sensationalism increases ratings.  Remember the Spanish American War was started by sensationalism in the Hurst Newspapers.




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