I lost all of my squad but three men twice, and I take offense to any negative comments (122 rockets). Perhaps I'm a little thin skinned, but those dozen or so kids deserve respect. Ken Burns fails in that area, and I feel he's failed every Vietnam Veteran. I know for sure Al respects those kids even though they were for the most part drafted into the Army. I also have deep respect for every kid that wore the bell hop uniform. I can readily see no respect from Mr. Burns group.
We got beat up in some small skirmishes, but remember we never lost a battle when it was all said and done. You'd never know that from Burns or the press. Yet the press didn't go out in the Que Son Valley or visit the Hiep Duc Ridge.
I did Tet in 68 and 69 with all it's bad press and out & out lies. I did this offensive and that offensive to the point that most blend together. In the end who cares? I do.
All vets want is an equal playing field. I for one always knew that wasn't gonna happen on PBS, and really wasn't impressed with the History Channel as well.
So in closing; go ahead an watch the documentary (sic), but take it with a grain of salt.
Gary, I often hear people say that we need to "respect" their service. How would Burns have done that better than letting the survivors speak in their own words? Many of them were flag-waving cheerleaders for America, and I have yet to hear anyone denigrate their efforts. In fact, one journalist says he's sick of hearing about The Greatest Generation, saying that those kids in Vietnam were every bit as brave as anyone fighting in WW2.
I think we feel good about the Second World War because it was for a cause that almost everyone agrees was noble to some extent. With Vietnam, we not only have doubts about the motives and plans of the leaders (on both sides, actually), but we have witnessed a lot more of the gore and, yes, brutality of both sides. Burns doesn't gloss over that on either occasion.
The men and women who served in Vietnam have earned our respect, and I think Burns is honoring their service by showing that the lives lost on both sides were probably wasted by leaders who ignored the human cost in favor of plans and goals that in our case undermined what the US stands for. How was it we were fighting against people who wanted to have self-determination and in favor of corrupt elites who didn't give a **** about the common people?
The surprising thing to me is how many of the vets are cold-eyed about the war being a mistake, including one pilot who later because Chief of Staff of the USAF. On a personal note, my father, who spent a year at MACV from 1969-70 told me when he got back "if they draft you, go to Canada."
So I mean no disrespect when I ask you: how would you have handled the series differently to show respect to these young men who in many cases died taking hills the US then abandoned sometimes hours later?