PERHAPS I NEED therapy, but I often wonder: What was American thinking in the '70s when they spit and yelled at returning Vietnam heroes. Granted, I was a young kid when this was going on, but I can remember my dad, 38-year Granite City steelworker, getting furious at those "hippies" disgracing our flag and our returning soldiers. Obviously, their anger should have been directed toward the government responsible -- not the blue-collar kid just doing what he thought was right.
As a veteran myself, I am proud to say Americans have learned their lesson from that historical embarrassment. At the Cardinal game the other night, I was talking to a couple of men in uniform home from Afghanistan. I was amazed at how many people, young and old, came up and thanked them for their service. Nothing better than a humble nod of appreciation reciprocated by a soldier that has seen and done things a kid should never have to. About a month ago I was at John Cochran getting an X-ray on my ankle. I felt unworthy of being there when I saw all of the amputees in line for X-rays. These are kids fighting for the same government crap our boys and ladies did in Vietnam -- money. Oh by the way, a shout-out to the staff at the VA hospital. You are compassionate and have incredible customer service skills. I have worked in health care for more than 20 years and know you can make more money in the private sector but choose to help our vets. God bless you.