I can’t stop talking about “The Vietnam War.”
Everywhere I go as I circulate through Amarillo, Texas, I encounter friends with Vietnam experience or ties to those who have such experience. Our conversation turns inevitably to that landmark, epic PBS series on the Vietnam War produced and directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.
Moreover, I am urging my fellow Vietnam veterans to watch the series if they haven’t seen it already. Buy it on DVD. Wait for it to be rebroadcast. Do what it takes. It’s worth your time.
One good friend of mine is married to a Vietnam War veteran. He served with the101st Airborne Division and suffered some serious wounds in the war. My friend has told me her husband suffers from serious post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from his experience.
She has recorded the series for him and is urging him to see it. I gathered from a conversation we had recently that she hadn’t seen it yet, either.
“Is it uplifting?” my friend asked. My answer was direct: “Uh, no. There’s nothing positive about it. It’s pretty damn grim.”
She, too, was direct. “Well, it is what it is,” she said.
Yes. It’s also worth anyone’s time who wants to understand the nature of this conflict. Yes, we killed more of them than they did of us. It was a defeat that still pains the nation and many of those who answered their country ‘s call to duty.
As for PBS and its collaboration with Burns and Novick: The nation watched some first-rate documentary television. “The Vietnam War” was an epic production for the ages.