I am writing to you today as the concerned mother of a U.S. troop stationed in Vietnam. Initially, I was a bit hesitant, but on board with the idea of my son fighting overseas for our beloved country. That was in 1965. It’s now 1970 and my baby is still over there, risking his life over and over again, day by day. I’m starting to question whether this war is ever going to be over. The letters I have received from my son have been horrifying. In 1965, I recall him telling me about “Operation Rolling Thunder”, a bombing campaign on North Vietnam which ended up lasting until 1968. As a mother, the thought of my son surrounded by bombs and destruction makes my knees weak. Being a mother, you never want to think about your little boy growing up in a battle field. 350 hundred thousand troops were stationed in Vietnam by 1966. That’s 350 hundred thousand mothers sitting at home, worried sick about their sons, unable to help or provide comfort. So when I hear that 6 thousand troops have been killed and another 30 thousand injured, my heart not only breaks for the brave young men who have lost their lives, but for the parents who have lost their little boy.
The things I see in the media are shocking; One example being the massacre of the My Lai village by U.S. Troops. Is that what they’re teaching our boys over there? How to destroy things and kill people? I’m not saying that death during war is wrong. It’s inevitable. But I’m worried on the long lasting effect these things will have on the mentality of these men. I’m afraid my son will not return the same way that he left. All these protests I’m seeing on the U.S. Policy in Vietnam make we wonder if we actually are doing the right thing, and if my son is risking his life for a noble cause.
I know I should not be arguing our country’s efforts in the fight against communism, but standing by as the death rates quickly go up and our progress slowly inches forward is maddening. I should be thankful that my son is still alive, as other families are not as fortunate, but how much longer until I too have to put my son into an American flag-covered coffin? How many more deaths is it going to take to call this war quits? I have not gotten a full night’s sleep since the day my baby boy was shipped off to war, and will not be able to rest peacefully until he is home and this war is concluded. Make no mistake; I write this letter not only for my own family, but for all families across the United States. We want our troop’s home. This war has gone on long enough.