A half-century has passed since the United States was involved in the Vietnam war. Since that time, attitudes and the manner in which America fights wars have changed.
When Vietnam veterans returned home, many of them were not respected or every got a welcome home.
The University of Nebraska-Omaha hosted a symposium called, “The Vietnam War: Lessons and Legacies”. Panelists from a wide range of spectrums talked about the struggles and changes since that time.
Former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Nebraska U.S. Senator and Vietnam veteran Chuck Hagel said reflecting on the war now is crucial, “It's also important for our young people for all of this not to get lost in history-there's so much coming at us in the world , wars conflicts problems that our memory base is very limited.”
Hagel points out as time passed-the perception of the war morphed.
“Finally our society over the last 20-25 years was able to come to grips with separating the war from the warrior. these men and women were asked to go fight and die in this far away land called Vietnam it wasn't their choice they had nothing to do with it,” said Hagel.
Vietnam veteran and U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey worries about the long-term affects these wars have on our veterans from Vietmen to today’s war.
“The wars today in many ways more serious they are longer, we've had a war for 15 years and you're dealing with different kinds of injuries and consequences, traumatic brain injury being the first one,” said Kerrey.
While certain VA’s across the country have had problems giving adequate health care to some veterans, kerrey believes the public's attitude towards vets in today's world will create better policy.
“They will get the support that they need because now it's an all volunteer force-there's not a draft,” said Kerrey.