In my mom's large stash of old photos, I've gotten to the sixties and found this one of taken at a Vietnam War debate at Delta College just outside of Bay City, Michigan. It happened around 1965 or 66 at the height of the draft and of the action in Southeast Asia.
I was a sophomore at the community college which was a constant buzz of antiwar rhetoric. Protestors there were loud and strident, as well as nonstop. In classes, anybody appearing sympathetic to what the U.S. was doing in Vietnam were either shouted down or bullied into keeping quiet.
Looking at today's raucous political climate, it's easy to forget the sixties when U.S. soldiers could come home on leave in uniform to have people taunt them and accuse them of being killers.
I want my grandkids to know that I was involved during this time with the on-campus Students For Victor In Vietnam. I saw the United States as the good guys. We sponsored a big on-campus rally which featured a debate between two faculty members. It attracted lots of student and media attention.
That period shaped the rest of my life. The draft hung over my head during that whole time and kept me looking over my shoulder for the heavy breath of the military. When the draft lottery was created, my number was ten.
How do I feel about U.S. involvement in Vietnam? Have they changed since then? Yes.