The July 21st CBS Sunday Morning Show had a segment by Steve Hartman about an Army platoon from Vietnam. They met at the grave of one of their members who was killed in Vietnam on a mission. Mr. Hartman said something that stunned me about the group. That was: “They mourned their survival”, referring to the feeling of survivors guilt. That phrase dug deeply into my soul and I commend Mr. Hartman for helping me to embrace why I often become so emotional when Vietnam comes to me.
I spent two voluntary years in Vietnam, Pleiku 67-68 and Tuy Hoa 69-70. I volunteered for both those years out of a sense of duty. The second tour added an excuse for my oldest brother, nearing retirement, to avoid going. I return to the US being required to change into civies at the airport each time. I return to mini skirts, hippies, free love, protests, and draft dodging. The most hurtful emotion was when some friends and neighbors shunned me because I served my country. I will not get over that. To this day only about a half-dozen people have thanked me for my military service.
It has been almost 50 years since I returned. I have all of that time been Mourning My Survival. Mr. Hartman should be immediately promoted to the anchor of the CBS Sunday Morning Show. His segments are remarkably well produced every time.