I really need to clarify something for all of the young hopefuls,the state of mind our soldiers and myself had concerning going to Vietnam in the 60's. To the United States population in general who grew up in the 50's the world was not as laid back and wonderful as "happy days" or "sha-na-na" would have the folks of today believe. We were a war waiting to happen. WWII just ended a few years prior and the Korean Conflict didn't end until 1954. The atom bomb was the main topic of every day. In school, from Kindergarten through 12th we not only had fire drills, but atom bomb threat drills. At the sound of the horn we would all go to the outer walls, sit down and crunch up in as small of a ball as possible and put our hands on our heads. From what we heard from our parents and friends, this maneuver was indeed an act of futility. A strange name was surrounding all of us and inundating the very fiber of our existance. Communism!! We didn't really know what it was, but this guy called Kruschev sure did make a point when he stood in front of those TV cameras, slamming his shoe on the podium while screaming,"WE WILL BURY YOU!" That threat was made even more ominous because we already knew that the U.S.S.R had developed a new weapon. A 50 megaton bomb. Then of course the Bay of Pigs incident wasn't too pupular with us either. The U.S.S.R. had built missle silos and parked their war ships only 90 miles from the Florida coast. Now what does that have to do with Vietnam? Simple. It does not matter what the politicians knew, or what the OSS knew, what the CIA knew or the fly on the wall of the oval office knew. To the red blooded, freedom loving, flag waving male and female civilian it seemed logical (what we were told) that if South Vietnam could be taken by Ho Chi Minh, backed by the U.S.S.R., China and other communist countries that surely we "could" be next. Our warriors and the warriors of other countries kept S. Korea from being taken, so we would do the same in Vietnam. If you didn't live during those times, you couldn't possibly know the real why's that the normal Joe Blow had for going. I and thousands of others volunteered to go. Others were drafted, and were allowed the shorter enlistment but didn't have much choice as to what they were going to do as a soldier. Whether enlisted or drafted all were and still are, great soldiers. Whatever reason the younger generation has been told still does not matter. We had to show our strength there to keep war away from our shores. Idealistic, absolutely. But, we were and are Americans above all else and I do dare say, if we had the leadership that we have now, back in the 50's and 60's, the bay of pigs incident would have been the least of our worries and vodka would be our national drink. da?