Great post. Thank you for your service! If I could "like" it more than once then I surely would have.I served. I enlisted in the Marine Corps in Dec. of 68. Went to boot camp in Jan. of 69. Got my WEST-PAC orders and was "in-country" from June 69 - July 70.
I enlisted not because I wanted to go to Nam. It was duty to country why I enlisted. Most of us back then served because of duty to country and it was expected of us. I think because most our fathers served during W W ll played a significant part when it came to duty to country.
Did I really want to go to Vietnam ? No. I would have been just as happy serving on a 8" gun cruiser as part of the Marine Detachment or serving my entire tour of duty at Camp Pendleton.
I knew many who wanted to go to Nam but they started having second thoughts once they boarded that Continental Airlines flight headed for Okinawa. From their it was a Cathay Pacific flight to Da Nang. It was a loney war because most of us didn't go over as a unit but as replac ements for those who tour of duty was up. Nobody wanted to get to close to the FNG. I would discover why, if you look at the Wall with all of the names you'll notice that the vast majority who paid the ultimate sacefice were killed with in the first three months of being in-country.
Once you were in-country you had a mission and you did it but it was no longer duty to country but survival. And you learned real quick you couldn't survive on your own. You were dependent on the guys in your team or squad. They watched your six and you watched their six. I survived.
If I would have to do it over again and even knowing what the outcome of the was was going to be, yes.
I grew up in a all Democrat home. I probably looked at my self as being a Democrat when I enlisted even though I was A-political back then. But by the time I got on the freedom bird I was a Republican. I looked at who got us involved in Vietnam, and saw they were the same people who backed stabbed us while we were on the battlefields of Vietnam. By the late 70's I was a conservative.
Women serving in combat would be a huge distraction. You have a mission to accomplish while at the same time trying to survive and watching your buddies six. I think I would end up paying to much attention of watching the six (no pun intended) of a female Marine or soldier and let up on watching my own six.