As a baby-boomer who grew up on war movies, I thought of veterans as various forms of heroes. I knew that in going to war some soldiers died; some were wounded; others came home … and that, I thought, was that. While I vehemently opposed the U.S. war of aggression against Vietnam, for many years I did not think much about what it had actually meant to have fought that war. Nor did I consider the less obvious wounds suffered by those who engaged in combat.

Wallace Terry’s now famous book "Bloods: Black Veterans of the Vietnam War: An Oral History" was eye-opening, as was interacting on a closer level with veterans of the Indochina War. Getting close to veterans, which was not particularly easy for reasons I will address below, meant casting away virtually everything that I had learned in watching war movies. With the possible exception of the post-World War II film “The Best Years of Our Lives,” the U.S. media pays little attention to the plight of the combat veteran.

Bill Fletcher Jr. is the host of The Global African on Telesur-English. He is a racial justice, labor and global justice activist and writer. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and at

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.