How Did The Vietnam War Changed America
“Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind” (John F. Kennedy). The Vietnam War was a violent war that had a strong impact on everyone involved. Not only the United States government, but also the people realized it was not always their place to intervene in foreign affairs. But this realization was far too late as the troops had already been sent and the American citizens were forced to live through the hell that is war. The effects of the Vietnam War questioned the ethics of warfare and changed the overall view of how the United States approaches war.
The U.S. had known about altercations in Vietnam; however, it was the confrontation of the USS Maddox with three Vietnamese Naval ships in …show more content…
It is hard to fight an enemy who can blend in with civilians and civilians who can act like the enemy. The Viet Cong was a communist organization in South Vietnam that was known for their use of guerillas. They could never assume that someone was not an enemy or that land they had lived on for weeks would not be riddled with traps. It was not just South Vietnamese military who killed civilians, as U.S. soldiers were also commanded to kill whoever they were told to. Aside from ethical dilemmas, life in Vietnam for American soldiers was grueling on the mind and body. Just the temperature alone could wear down anyone but if you add a full uniform and bags of equipment, long marches through the thick jungle would seem unbearable. The overall mentality of the soldiers was destroyed and troop morale was low. Vietnam War veteran who volunteer commented, “everybody seemed to have a FTA ["Fuck The Army"-Ed.] attitude” (Dave Blalock 1). Those serving despised the cause they were fighting for which makes for a weak and unstable military. The prisoners of war experienced agony while being held. John McCain, prisoner of war said, “a huge crowd of people gathered, and they were all hollering and screaming and cursing and spitting and kicking at me” (John S. McCain III 1). To go through being a prisoner of war was a horrific experience for a young person. The American soldiers in Vietnam were paranoid, tired, and angry. Men used to lie and inflict injuries upon themselves to avoid being drafted. The soldiers were dying off