Vietnam service medal on map of Vietnam

Vietnam service medal on map of Vietnam

I was (and am) authorized to wear the Vietnam Service medal. This pin shows a replica of the medal imposed on a map of Vietnam.

I think anyone involved (except politicians) in Vietnam must realize it was an incredible mistake to get sunk in that quagmire. I worked in intelligence and it was apparent that what we were able to determine to 98% accuracy was ignored or “edited” by decision makers. Many years after the war I was chair of the Humanities Division in a large Institute of Technology. Robert McFarlane was a visiting special professor in one of my departments. At a party I had a chance to talk with him about Vietnam. I told him a story of some critical information that I had sent up the line that was squelched. McFarlane sat for a moment, and then said that it was always troublesome to the White House that they were not getting the real picture but one filtered to meet policy arguments.

I was the faculty advisor for the Vietnam Students’ Association. I taught a course on Vietnam which was cathartic for me and amazing for my students, more than half of which were Vietnamese. As kids they never learned the history of their country of origin.

In the 1980s I went to Goteborg Sweden to give a paper and participate in a conference. There I met representatives from Vietnam. The upshot was that I got an invitation to spend a year in Hanoi, advising the government on science and technology policy. I wanted to go, but decided I just didn’t have the stamina or psychological preparation to spend a year there away from my family.

There’s more, but I can’t write about it now.

Location: 1-D5