Roger (Koop) Koopman (68-69)
HQ & A Battery
"For some of you just info
but for some receiving this my thoughts from my time there like you, interesting
even now, so many forget or don't know. I have always wondered why, we Vietnam
vets, never get together with ARVN vets (some of who were very brave good
soldiers trying their best just like us.
I saw many I wish I bothered to get their names, is it
bitterness, guilt or lack of trust? We and they fought for their country (lost
blood). Theirs and our politicians lost the war for both of us, not them or us.
We and they fought as best as we could considering.
We got to come home, they were stuck or lost their home
even if they escaped. Have any of you revisited there? I remember deep
discussions a few times with some (a few who are probably dead) of them and
found common human ground and was invited (honored to be a guest with their
families) to eat and visit in some family homes for a meal with ARVN soldiers,
when in the rear, after I had gone to the field with them in combat.
I am sure most of them suffered greatly even more after
the war as I am sure most all were left behind but frankly I would enjoy talking
with some fellow ARVN soldiers from their perspectives because they, like us,
risked much, they were expendables too.
Anyhow, I think it's a fellowship that we have missed and
ignored mutually as soldiers/vets, a lack of honoring each other, but why? Many
didn't have the privilege of meeting other then the commercially available types
or boom boom, as it was easy to forget they were real people within their own
culture. I think it dishonors them and us as we fought against the same enemy.
Just my two cents."