1965 was the year America took the gloves off in Vietnam, moving from “advising and assisting” the South Vietnamese military to an active combat role. The first U.S. ground combat troops arrived there in March. That same month, the United States began bombing North Vietnam in Operation Rolling Thunder. In November, troops would take on North Vietnamese regulars for the first time in the Battle of Ia Drang Valley.
Once again, America was at war.
Among the casualties: President Lyndon B. Johnson’s legacy and Americans' faith in their government.
By Joseph L. Galloway, Special to Stars and Stripes
It was Sunday, Nov. 14, 1965, just after dark when I climbed aboard a Huey helicopter filled with crates of ammunition and hand grenades and hitched a ride into the pages of history.
We were bound for a small clearing called Landing Zone X-Ray, where an understrength battalion of the 7th Cavalry was fighting for its life.
“The Vietnam War divided the civil rights movement and African-Americans more than any other event in American history ... and it diverted attention away from the struggle for racial justice and toward opposition to the war.”
As Stars and Stripes looks at the monumental moments, actions and people from the Vietnam War on its 50th anniversary, we struggle to do justice to the life-changing war.
So we’re hoping our readers can make sense of it.
In six words.
It’s not a new concept. Two Army veterans launched the Six Word War project, a crowd-sourced memoir of Iraq and Afghanistan.
We want to do the same for Vietnam.
We’re looking for descriptions in six words of your Vietnam War experiences, at home or on the front lines. Whether you served, protested or lived the war through someone in your family.