Hello Reddit!

Jan Scruggs here. I am the President and Founder of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. In 1979, I wrote a check for $2,800 and started the organization to seek a tangible place where we could honor the men and women who served in the Vietnam War. Our efforts would ultimately lead to the creation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Today, the organization is working to build an accompanying Education Center that will help tell the stories of the 58,286 names on The Wall.

Ask me anything. And an early Veterans Day salute to all who serve.

Quick note: I’m not the world’s fastest typist, so one of our great VVMF staffers will be typing my responses, word for word, so I can answer more of your questions.

Edit: Proof: https://twitter.com/VVMF/status/396268396855058432

Edit again: Sorry folks, but I need to head out. Thank you so much for all of your questions. It’s been wonderful speaking to you about the memorial. A very special thank you to all of the veterans, active servicemen and women, and military family members who commented.

If you’d like more information about VVMF and our upcoming Veterans Day ceremony, visit our website at http://vvmf.org.

And if you are interested in supporting our work, you can make a donation here: https://donate.vvmf.org/page/contribute/donate-to-the-vvmf

Comments: 513 • Responses: 56  • Date: 

NinjaDiscoJesus180 karma

What was your reaction when you found out it was an Asian American who won the design competition?

Was there any negative reaction at the time?

The architect Maya Lin believes she would not have been picked if it was not a blind contest and received harassment after it was revealed.

JanScruggs335 karma

The fact that an Asian American won it showed that the design competition was done fairly. I thought it was great myself. Maya is from Athens, Ohio. Both of her parents were professors. Yes a few people were racially prejudiced toward her but these people were ignorant.

Drop-dead_Georgeous52 karma

It's interesting how the chronology on her design starts at 1961, when it's 1959 on the Wall today. Even stuff like "when the war began" was still debatable I suppose.

JanScruggs95 karma

Yea you are correct. The first casualties were in 1959 however we later put on a captain who was killed in 1957 while training South Vietnamese troops. There was some unstable TNT left over by the French that detonated.

Furgus130 karma

Just wanted to say thank you for what you did to bring this memorial to life. My Dad joined the marines and went to Vietnam. He was lucky and came back but it wasn't till recently I realized he came back with far more than physical scars. A few weekends ago my Dad and a uncle brought my two surviving grandfathers to DC as part of an honor flight. My family drove to meet them for this once in a lifetime trip. My Dad had never been to The Wall before although he had seen the tracking one, so him and I went there together. My Dad found his very good friend in the book and then found him on the stone. I've seen my father cry once in my 36 years, that day was the second time. The Wall has a very eery but peaceful feeling about it. I think it helped my Dad remember his buddies and hope it helped him rest a little easier now that he's really said goodbye.

JanScruggs79 karma

That is an amazing story. Everyday we have someone at The Wall who has tears and this is a good thing. We need to remember and say goodbye to people and recover. So I hope it helped your dad.

keskelson105 karma

My Father served in 70-71. I am so proud of him and wanted to know how to send pics and letter to be honored at the memorial. I am sorry about how you were treated when you came home and would love to say Thank you. From the bottom of my heart words cannot describe my gratitude.

JanScruggs83 karma

You can find information on our website at vvmf.org. We now have photos of 32,000 Americans who gave their lives in the Vietnam War.

solo100184 karma

My dad was in Vietnam. He doesn't talk about it much which is common. I visited the memorial in 1996 in high school and didn't realize how such a simple wall could evoke so much emotion. I made rubbings of several of my mom's friends for her. Was the simplicity on purpose?

JanScruggs100 karma

Yes the simplicity of the design was consistent with our guidelines that the memorial be harmonious with the green, peaceful landscape of the Mall in Washington, D.C.

Skulhedvonwhargoul63 karma

No comment just a thank you. My dad lost a lot of friends in nam. Hes lucky he made it home.

JanScruggs67 karma

It was a very difficult time to serve the nation in the Armed Forces. The infantry took heavy casualties but serving in these circumstances, in the opinion of most of us over there, was our responsibility as American citizens.

mrmasonater41 karma

What's your favourite memory from your whole military career?

JanScruggs93 karma

My favorite memory was being on jet on a runway in Saigon and applauding, along with 200 other soldiers, who had just completed their twelve months in Vietnam. About half of them, like me, were also getting out of the Army as soon as the plane landed with an honorable discharge.

mrmasonater33 karma

That definitely sounds like it'd be a relieving experience for everyone who took part. Were you applauded in the same way upon your discharge?

JanScruggs84 karma

Upon discharge and returning home, it became clear that being a Vietnam veteran was a liability. One girl who I was trying to date found out that I had served in Vietnam and told her friend to tell me that we would not be seeing each other.

RomanVargas32 karma


JanScruggs28 karma

I am sorry to hear that your father was a casualty. We need to make sure that his photo is displayed in the Education Center. http://www.vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces/

mahamahdou31 karma

Have you returned to Vietnam after the war and helped the war victims?

JanScruggs77 karma

Yes I have returned to Vietnam and done considerable work with civilians injured especially those injured by unexploded ordnance. We did work for several years removing thousands of pieces of ordnance in the Quang Tri province of Vietnam. But our role and mission is now the Education Center.

human_cannonball29 karma

Have you ever been back to Vietnam? Any thoughts or reflections on Gen. Giap's recent death?

JanScruggs42 karma

Giap was probably a military genius. His defeat of the French was brilliant in terms of tactics and he did pretty well against the US. He lived to be 100 years old I think.

Snowinaz25 karma

My dad was in the USMC and did a tour in 69-70. I asked him if he had a question for you but he only said to tell you "Thank you" for helping to get the wall built. I know he knows a few of those names and has several rubbings from it hanging on his wall.

JanScruggs39 karma

Well you tell your dad that I was there in the same time frame and "Semper fidelis"

drunkstatistician21 karma

How did the design of the memorial come to be? The simplicity and magnitude of the Vietnam memorial is really staggering for someone who may not understand the impact of that war.

JanScruggs42 karma

The design came about through the largest architectural competition held in the history of Western civilization. 1421 designs were entered. The winner was Maya Lin, a student at Yale.

uberlad16 karma

What's your very best life advice?

JanScruggs49 karma

Read a wide variety of books and magazines, always be engaged with people, listen to your friends and enemies, work hard and begin investing money for your retirement at a young age.

Spotinye8 karma

I've read a few books about the conflict - care to recommend any? Thank you for your service and continued dedication to the Memorial.

JanScruggs29 karma

Phil Capputo's Rumor of War and Vietnam; A History by Stan Karnow.

Drop-dead_Georgeous14 karma

Thank you for doing this! I have several veterans of foreign wars in my family, so I have nothing but respect for all you do.

How do you feel young people can benefit from learning more about the Vietnam War and The Wall? I know that I never learned much about any of it until I read about it on my own.

JanScruggs25 karma

The Vietnam War was a pivotal event in American history. It remains relevant today and there are military conflicts in places like Iraq and Afghanistan in which the question is asked "Will this be another Vietnam?" So for that reason learning about the Vietnam War is a good idea and we're building an Education Center near the memorial.

00rangerdriver13 karma

I grew up surrounded by Vietnam vets. They have been the source of great family pride and inspiration for me when it comes to dealing with life and adversity. Back in 1997 I got to go to DC on a school trip and was asked to do some rubbings for them. Unfortunately when I got to the wall and tried to locate the names in the books the pages with their names had been ripped out leaving me unable to fulfill the request. This saddens me greatly because in all my years of public schooling we never once studied the Vietnam war...In fact I graduated high school never having studied anything past WWII, even though it was in the textbooks... My qiestion is why are people so nervous discussing a war that ended almost 40 years ago? It seems to me that learning about mistakes made by our leaders would help us learn and keep from repeating them...

JanScruggs21 karma

When I was in high school we had a similar problem but the teacher could never get to the Korean War. And the Korean War was actually quite relevant. After all, in Vietnam, there was the assumption that the same outcome was virtually inevitable given America's military capabilities.

Vietnam seems to create some pretty negative emotions and debate perhaps it is synonymous with failure?

nmpmdn13 karma

First of all....thanks so much for starting the organization which led to The Wall.
I took my father to the opening of the WWII Memorial. He was 3rd ID, and humped the entire tour from Africa to Germany.
We also had to take a trip to The Walll, as I had a friend who had not etched her brother's name. I volunteeed that task.. Howard, my father, was sitting there while I was doing the etching on a ladder. He had on his WWII cap and jacket...everyone assumed he had lost a son or daughter in Vietnam [he did not]. From then on it was a stream of people, shaking his hand, hugging him..women smooching him on the cheek...thanking him for his service and his loss.. It was deeply moving...I was up on the ladder taking my time..so he could experience that level of love...

JanScruggs11 karma

Sounds like your dad had an amazing time at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I'm glad to hear that he got hugs and kisses good for him!

lostintheplains13 karma

How have visitor reactions changed as the generations change? Do you notice that grandchildren behave differently than children of vets?

JanScruggs17 karma

The memorial has elicited over 400,000 items which have been left there and these items have changed in the three decades that the memorial has been created. Remember most of the visitors are tourists to Washington who did not serve in Vietnam. The Vietnam veterans show on Veterans Day and you can come and meet them on Nov. 11. http://www.vvmf.org/rsvp-veterans-day-2013

nikkos35010 karma


JanScruggs34 karma

The memorial design is brilliant because the names are listed chronologically by date of death. This allows veterans to see the names of their friends who died together listed alongside of each other. The other nice thing is the quality of the granite which is reflective in nature allowing you to see your own reflection. It is also nicely placed in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial which was built to commemorate the nation reuniting after America's Civil War.

buffalocentric9 karma

Can you give us one really great story about the fund raising effort for the memorial? It truly is awe-inspiring.

JanScruggs28 karma

We had a radio-thon in San Antonio, Texas and a veteran came and gave his monthly disability check to help build the memorial. Another guy in Texas who I asked for a contribution noted that they do a lot of weird things in Texas and wrote a check for $50,000.

pureblood9 karma

Do you have a lot of interaction with fellow vets? I have a really bad habit whenever I talk to veterans of crying at their stories. Anyone ever made you cry? Or really hit home?

JanScruggs24 karma

Well I hear many amazing stories and being part Irish, we have the ability to cry even during beer commercials. The one time I was overtaken with emotion was when an elementary school kid asked if any children had died in the war.

tomorrow_may_rain7 karma

Thank you for your service. I'm curious about what you think of the improvements that have been made in veteran's mental health care since Vietnam. Have we come far at all? Is there more to do?

JanScruggs10 karma

Yes there have been improvements and also military services meet with soldiers after traumatic events to help them, but there are very high rates of PTSD and also suicide among our Armed Forces who have been in combat.

Fartflavorbubblegum7 karma

I visited the memorial for my first time this past weekend. Its an amazing reminder of what service to one's country can really mean. Truly moving. Thank you.

JanScruggs17 karma

The Education Center will elevate the idea of service to our nation and especially to our local communities. As a way to honor those who have laid down their lives for our freedom the Center will also honor the veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. They've been through a lot.

Ihavenocomments7 karma

That is for getting the Memorial started, and thanks for doing this AMA.

There's obviously been a shift in public perception / treatment of veterans in the last 25 years, and it's largely been for the better. How much of this shift do you think is the result of guilt over our initial treatment of Vietnam vets, as opposed to us simply maturing as a country.

What did you think of the recent government shutdown and how it affected the closure of National parks and Memorials? Specifically, do you think that having the Memorials shut down helped provide a spark to get the government up and running again? (For what that's worth :)

Do you think that service members of all of our conflicts are deserving of a memorial?

If you had to do it all over again, what would you change? (In regards to the Memorial)

JanScruggs8 karma

  1. There has been a shift and that is related to the mission of the memorial which was "to separate the war from the warrior" and this has continued to assist the more recent veterans. So people don't blame them for these wars that they had nothing to do with creating.

  2. The government shutdown was very dramatic at the memorials especially the WWII with Sarah Palin and others showing up. I think it helped show that we needed to get back on track. By the way, we had many volunteers and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was generally opened. We also had a half-scale replica at Georgetown University.

  3. Sure. Give them all some sort of tangible recognition. After all, it is a piece of history that will help people remember what happened.

  4. We had a hard time explaining how brilliant the Maya Lin design would be. I wish we figured out a way to explain it but we got it built.

maria5226 karma

How did it feel bringing thousands together at the dedication of The Wall in 1982? It must have been overwhelming.

JanScruggs15 karma

We had 50,000 veterans at The Wall during dedication in 1982 on this Veterans Day Gen. Colin Powell will be there!

kkentium6 karma

Thanks for your service Jan. I work with a lot of Vietnam veterans from the special ops community. My question is, what can we do to help raise funding for the education center? Are you based out of the VVA in Silver Spring or work with them?

JanScruggs8 karma

VVMF is located in Washington, D.C. We are working with all veterans groups including the VVA to find photos. By the way we are having a cruise next week with many of America's most respected military leaders to raise funds for the Center. Among those on the cruise will include wounded veterans from Afghanistan: http://www.vvmf.org/cruise

kkentium10 karma

Thanks for the reply, I also live in DC and stop by the Wall many times during my bike rides along the Mall. If we were to start our own fundraising events to drive donations to the wall, is there someone better to coordinate those efforts with?

JanScruggs10 karma

Yes! Give our Outreach Coordinator, Netta Squires an email at [email protected] and thank you so much for your interest!

snnb5 karma

Certain people rise above and beyond their call of duty. It is an honour to be able to write to you. How would you describe the perception of PTSD and the militaries acknowledgment of it today, compared to your service in Vietnam?

JanScruggs10 karma

PTSD is widely recognized however during the Vietnam War this psychological condition was not understood. It was viewed as a sign of weakness.

Kickagnome4 karma

What made you decide to do this? & what's your opinion on America throwing veterans on the back burner and not caring for them like they should.

JanScruggs14 karma

Basically I became an expert on PTSD with some research I did in graduate school and that research lead me to create the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the central feature of which would be the display of the names of our fallen troops. You can't put these veterans on the backburner after they have done so much in places like Vietnam or Iraq or elsewhere. The veterans did not start these wars but they were willing to risk their lives.

JanScruggs6 karma

Part of the theory of the memorial is related to the idea of capitalized survivor conflicts. This is the struggle that many people who survive disasters have to deal with. So the idea of names was to help these people.

DearBurt4 karma

As the 100-year anniversary approaches for World War One, I was wondering what the relationship was like between Vietnam vets and "doughboys" when y'all first came back.

JanScruggs11 karma

There was a doughboy at the dedication in 1982 and he was holding the flag of his son's coffin who was KIA in Korea. I recently had dinner with the Australian ambassador and government officials who are planning extensive commemorations of their losses in places like Gallipoli.

TheWildHost1114 karma

My grandad served in Vietnam, and thank you for your service.

My question is what was the scariest moment you had when you were deployed (Other than your near death)

JanScruggs19 karma

I guess my scariest moment was my last battle. Our patrol had ended, almost, and then there was shooting and automatic weapons fire. So I put down my backpack and got ammunition with hand grenades and went to fight wondering about the wisdom of rolling the dice.

dominator7214 karma

Hi, I have always wanted to interview vets and get their stories down before they pass on, however I don't know how to go about doing this. I feel that's its rude or I may offend. do you have any advice?

JanScruggs4 karma

First of all I have found that military veterans who have visible injuries generally are very conversational about how they were injured. I think when you talk to people if you just show a real interest in their story and viewpoint they will start yapping away.


unmined3 karma

First ... thank you so much for your efforts and your dedication to the memorial.

How did you feel when the plan was first selected? Did you like it, or did it fall into the "black gash" category? I know there was controversy, and I know most everyone loves it now. Just curious as to your first reaction.

I work in DC several weeks a year, and I don't miss a chance to visit the memorial. I personally find it to be the most "sacred" of memorials on the mall, and only second to the Tomb of the Unknowns.

My dad was a vet, and as much as he appreciated the memorial, he could not bring himself to visit it. Sadly, he died having not seen it. I tend to think it would have been cathartic for him, but I understood his reluctance.

Has this been common for some vets? And if so, have you met any who overcame the reluctance, and if so, what was the reaction?

JanScruggs4 karma

Your father's difficulty in visiting the memorial is not uncommon. I think it would have helped him.

I'm glad you visit the tomb of the unknowns.

fifteencat3 karma

Vietnam was invaded because intelligence indicated that if elections were held they would vote the wrong way. They would vote for socialists. In response our government initiated saturation bombing, chemical warfare, and enacted policies that lead directly to the targeting of civilians. Throughout Indochina 4 million would die. Is it appropriate to memorialize those that carried out one of the most vicious war crimes in recent memory? What of those that think that we should rather memorialize the victims of this atrocity?

JanScruggs20 karma

Over 58,000 American citizens gave their lives in the military along with citizens of South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and other nations. I'm glad they all served. The Vietnam War was difficult and controversial. The atrocities directed by the Communists were incredible and tragic. So who comes with clean hands? I'm glad to honor the Americans and I'm proud to have done it. I've also done quite a bit to assist Vietnamese who have been injured. What I find interesting is that they love America and our movies and our music!

drums443 karma

I have read a lot about the way Vietnam soldiers were treated upon their return home. While I am only 25 I have never known a time when we didn't honor and respect our nation’s warriors, regardless of ones beliefs of the conflict. I wish there was a way to have people my age learn, understand, and see why it is we treat our soldiers so great today. Because of the horrible ways Vietnam Veterans were treated when they came home. Do you think there is a way prior to the completion of the Education Center, to educate the younger generation and to truly engage them in what VVMF is all about?

JanScruggs5 karma

Go to our web site here http://www.vvmf.org/vvmf-education we have a few resources to teach young people about the Vietnam War and they way it shaped America. Hometown Heroes is a service learning project in which you interview a veteran. Also learn about The Wall That Heals, a traveling replica of the memorial, there.

vindidincy2 karma

Sorry, I don't know a lot of history about the construction of the memorial. Are you happy with the design (Maya Lin's) that was ultimately ended up being used?

And can you enlighten us about the education center project? Maybe a link or something? What is the goal, how far along are you in the design/fundraising process, and--most importantly--how can we help?

JanScruggs8 karma

Our web site has a lot of information http://vvmf.org.

The purpose of the Center will be to elevate service, not just military service, but service to our local communities and acts of civic virtue. To honor the fallen from Vietnam with their photos. http://vvmf.org/inside-the-center also there will be an hourly display of the photos of the fallen from Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of the nation's military and political leaders are taking part and helping.

We need to raise a lot of money and it's going to take a few more years. We have to raise the money privately. The Australian government has given over $3 million. We have been assured that everyone is looking forward to us completing our fundraising.

You can help by donating or helping us find photos of the Vietnam War fallen! https://donate.vvmf.org/page/contribute/donate-to-the-vvmf


pete607502 karma

How was the war itself? (if you don't want to talk about it it's ok)

JanScruggs4 karma

The war was different during different years. There were also areas in Vietnam where there was very little fighting and many US troops were not allowed to even keep weapons in their apartments.

pfcheadgames2 karma

What do you think of the "counter memorial"--the statue of three infantrymen (I think there's a woman too) looking with disdain at the black wall? Why do you think so many veterans disapproved of the memorial's design?

JanScruggs5 karma

Actually the Three Servicemen statue is looking directly at The Wall and interacts with The Wall in a positive way. So really there was controversy which became a footnote to history after the dedication.

cassius30002 karma

Actually, I just want to thank you for your service. I would also like to thank you for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It is quite an experience to go there and look at all those names. Very humbling.

But I would also like to ask, does it bother you when people refer to Vietnam as a mistake? And what sort of distinction do you draw between political support/opposition to a war and support for those who are serving in that war?

JanScruggs3 karma

Any debate over the Vietnam War or any other historical issue like slavery is good. People exchange ideas. In the Vietnam era, people did not separate the war from those who were serving. And many veterans paid the price.

ShellyMcPherson2 karma

Two questions: As a vet of the war, do you, like many Americans, look at it as a wasted endeavor at the cost of men's livlihood and lives?

What do you find best and worst about the state of the American political system today?

Thank you for doing this AMA.

JanScruggs3 karma

The Vietnam War was a part of the Cold War and it certainly did not turn out well however we did win the Cold War!

Most legislators in Congress are serious people and democracy is a messy way to resolve political differences but as Churchill noted, it is also the best.

PhoenixFlares2 karma

I just want to say thank you. My mother is Vietnamese, she moved here to America with her grandparents and immediate family from Saigon to get away from Vietnam because of the war. I joined the Armed Forces now because of it, and couldn't be prouder. There's obviously days where I'm wondering what they have planning higher up, but knowing that I'm protecting my family is all I need to know.

JanScruggs6 karma

I am very proud to know that you are Vietnamese and I must say that Saigon is still an amazing place and a wonderful tourist destination, as is the entire country. I'm glad you are enjoying your time in the military which can be a great career and best of luck!

Elgan2 karma

My father served from 66-70, and his service was instrumental in my decision to do the same from 00-04. From one vet to another, and on behalf of my dad, thanks for honoring those on the wall's sacrifice, yours, and his.

JanScruggs6 karma

It is very interesting that there is such a strong family connection among military service. So many fathers and sons served. I recently spent time with Gen. Barry McCaffrey his father was an Army officer and so are his two sons.

japaneseknotweed2 karma

What was that 2,800 originally earmarked for?

JanScruggs6 karma

The money was used to hire an attorney for incorporation of VVMF as a legal entity and for the press conference in 1979. Following that we raised over $8 million in small donations and dedicated the memorial in 1982.

bswedish2 karma

How do you feel the vets from the Afgan/Iraq wars are being treated?

JanScruggs8 karma

People have done very well at separating the war from the warrior and they seem to have a lot of sympathy but they also have high rates of unemployment. So people need to do more than say "Thank you."

torchbearer1012 karma

Besides the Vietnam Memorial, what is your favorite war memorial in Washington?

JanScruggs7 karma

I really like the Japanese American Memorial. It is near Union Station. The memorial shows the numbers of Japanese Americans and where they were held in prison camps. It also shows the names of the Japanese American soldiers who died in the US Armed Forces. Their unit was the most decorated in history of the Army.

shArkh1 karma

Sir, you have an uncanny look of Edward James Olmos. And that is not a bad thing. Not asking owt, but appreciate you had the balls to do what you did regardless of how it turned out.

JanScruggs6 karma

Hahaha actually I was played by an actor named Eric Roberts. He is the brother of Julia Roberts. These Hollywood guys and gals are really nice looking, aren't they?

Rugger53531 karma

First off Welcome Home, and Thank you for your service. My dad served 3 tours as a Seabee. He has suffered from his injuries, PTSD, cancer from agent orange, and it destroyed my family in the late 80's. The government and society as a whole really turned a blind eye to the issues that the men were coming home with. So again thank you for starting the wall and trying to draw some awareness to a War most would like to forget happened.

JanScruggs4 karma

That is a pretty sad story. I'm so sorry of the tragedy that your family had to endure and let's remember that Agent Orange has taken people's lives, but you don't need to be reminded of that.

LongTallTexan1 karma

As an Afghan vet and an active member of the VFW, I have a lot of friends who are Vietnam vets and I want to say thank you for everything that you have done. My question is, what do you think about people who compare the war in Afghanistan is the one in Vietnam?

JanScruggs2 karma

Well I hope you take pride in your service. I guess I'm never completely comfortable with comparing historical periods or military decisions but I wonder what the outcome will be in Afghanistan. I look forward to a welcome home for the returning troops. They've done some magnificent fighting against a tough opponent.

Cunfuse1 karma

What film or book do you think is the most accurate representation of the Vietnam War?

JanScruggs3 karma

Basically documentaries are the best way to understand historical events and nonfiction books.

HeavenlySedated1 karma

Thank you for serving! From all that ive seen, the Vietnam war was pretty brutal. I'm thankful for the men and women like you who are willing to sacrifice to keep our country free. However, Im interested in the use of opiates by U.S. soldiers. Was this common? Any personal experiences or info you can provide would be great :)

JanScruggs31 karma

The most interesting thing that happened to me was getting wounded in May 1969. I was badly hit and was dying. I remember being very angry that my life was about to end at age 19 in the middle of a jungle in Vietnam.

HeavenlySedated9 karma

Wow! I cant imagine the rage that you would experience out there laying in the jungle thinking youre going to die at such a young age. Im interested in how this incident came about, but i am grateful for the reply. Thank you.

JanScruggs27 karma

I was on a patrol with approximately 200 American soldiers, and several tanks. We were ambushed and the Communist forces broke into small teams to inflict casualties among our ranks. A Communist RPG team got behind my position as I was firing at other targets and I was hit. I did however return fire but reloaded and started losing blood, said the Lord's prayer and prepared to die.

Tenacious_G6 karma

Much respect for what you endured; my uncle lied about his age to fight in Vietnam. Thank you for serving, and thank you for showing how much of a whiny bitch I was at 19. When I was 19 the things that angered me most were my cheating gf and a professor who refused to give me a fair grade; fighting in a jungle wouldn't even register on my radar.

JanScruggs30 karma

That's actually a fairly normal experience you had for a 19 year old. Mine was less common. But today there are 19 year olds dodging bullets in Afghanistan.

untbunny1 karma

First, thank you for turning our nation's eye to the memory of fallen Vietnam Veterans. Given the slowly increasing number of memorial on our Nation's mall, is there any memorial you think should be added or created?

JanScruggs4 karma

We need continual and careful consideration of what the nation memorializes. Let me note that the Education Center at The Wall will honor America's legacy of service from 1775 to today. The Center will put service to the nation in a wider context with great emphasis on the Vietnam War and the many items left there at The Wall.