Quote: Originally Posted by CarlTR6
While I would definitely not call the support for the troops "over the top", it is definitely stronger and more well publicized than during the Viet Nam era. I think you have hit on part of the reason - "support for current serving troops a way to compensate for former attitudes and behaviour and as such, perhaps one aspect intended to avoid making the same mistake twice?"
Two things a very different this time around.
1. Much better communications and access to all points of view via the internet. In Viet Nam, in this country, you were stuck with the very slanted views and agenda of ABC, NBC, and CBS. That was it. That was all you saw or heard. We did not have access to the BBC; there was no Fox. Now one can see video's shot by the soldiers themselves, read their letters, listen to interviews that the mainstream media "overlooks".
In retrospect, I believe that the phrase 'over the top' I used was a poor choice on my part based partly on loosely similar slanted circumstances.
Since we in Australia don't experience the same level of exposure, the snippets gleaned via news media, select US talk shows, TV shows etc - painted a 'more positive perception' than appears to be the actual case.
We rarely see anything but 'Yay America' from a comparatively limited amount of sources.
2. The US reserves are being used extensively in the WOT. They were not used much at all in Viet Nam, especially in the ground war. That means that virtually every village, city and town in the US has been directly touched. Reserve units are hometown units. Everyone knows someone who has been to or is in the sandbox. Taht tends to broaden and heighten support for the troops.
That actually answers a large crux of my curiosity regarding support.
Admittedly, that was not an angle I had even considered
Considering the large amount of 'personal connection', it actually makes a lot sense.
3. Viet Nam era vets have banded together in formal and informal organizations to make sure our current heroes are honored as we from that era weren't. A large number of us became activists and counter-protesters. By and large, we have drowned out the voices of the protesters - and our numbers are usually much larger - even when the anti-military protest organizations are paying college students to protest.
Rent a crowds? Why I never...
The media still does not cover this. They give extensive coverage of the protesters and a passing mention of the counter protesters. The media only gives numbers on those rare occasions that the protesters outnumber the counter protesters. This I know from personal experience.
But the public backs and supports us vets because of #1 and #2 above.
Again, we rarely see any of this coverage of protesters/counter-protesters.
(I personally see less as I tend to eschew the news as much as possible since it's rarely uplifting
The banding together of former vets to gain a degree of public exoneration as well as garnering support for current vets/troops would indeed help 'swing the balance' from anti to pro to a certain degree.
I hope this gives you some insight.
Mate, indeed it has. You have elucidated me on several aspects I had not considered, and as such, helped shift some perceptions.