I served from 1978 to 81 and when someone says thank you for your service I feel like I'm stealing the thunder of the troops that are seving in these two wars. Mainley because I don't remember anyone saying it before. I remember being called baby killer or being spit at.
Posted 1 y ago
As I remember it, the 60s-80s were peak decades of the cold war. One of the key missions was nuclear deterrence...i.e. convincing the Soviets that engaging in ANY type of nuclear exchange would be a very bad idea. Its a scenario where both parties lose (although one may lose more than the other), or... both parties win. It involved keeping a strong, active force that could respond rapidly under a variety of scenarios. Fortunately a nuclear WWIII never occurred and many would say that, in the end, the US won more than the Soviets. But, again deterrence worked and the unthinkable did not occur. Sun Tzu said that it is best to win without conflict. I think that applies to the cold war. Whenever folks say that the US was not engaged in any major conflict during the 70s and 80s (after Vietnam), I remind them of what could have occurred if the US and NATO had not put forth a credible deterrent. A deterrent that required effective weapon systems, well trained personnel, and a commitment to win....and that's not chopped liver. If you served during those years then you deserve a handshake & a word of thanks. The world would be so much worse had the cold war deterrence mission failed.
One should never be ashamed for serving. It's that simple. Civilians don't understand what it means to fight for your buddies on the 9 and 3 o'clock. They don't understand hold at all cost orders because another unit is counting on yours. They don't understand the bond and love we have for each others as we train hard, fight hard, and share pictures of our families. They don't know what we are willing to sacrifice on behalf of our buddies and the country. We understand it, they do not. We should keep our heads up high regardless of where you served.
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