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Brock: Extremely poor timing for Obama to lift Vietnam embargo

I grew up a child of the '60s and, like most, watched reports of the Vietnam War on the nightly 5 o'clock news. I was too young to be drafted, but my older brother had a draft card and my dad spent two tours in Vietnam while in the U.S. Air Force...

Harvey Brock

I grew up a child of the ‘60s and, like most, watched reports of the Vietnam War on the nightly 5 o’clock news.
I was too young to be drafted, but my older brother had a draft card and my dad spent two tours in Vietnam while in the U.S. Air Force.
Having a father who served in Vietnam, I had a far different view of the war than many my age.
My dad never spoke bitterly of the protestors of the war and his pat answer is that he and others fought to give them the right to demonstrate.
His bitterness was aimed at those in government who put limits on soldiers fighting in the war.
A career military man, he also served in World War II and knew that, given the resources and commitment, the war would have been over quickly. He was bitter also because the limits placed on those American’s fighting cost many soldier’s lives.
Despite America’s involvement ending more than 40 years ago, the war doesn’t seem that long ago.
I’m proud to live in North Dakota, where so many Vietnam vets live and receive more respect than those in other parts of our country.
I know things change and normalizing relationships with the Republic Of Vietnam has been evolving for some time, but according to the Defense Prisoner of War and Missing Personnel Office, as at March 23, there are still 1,621 U.S. servicemen still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.
I, for one, questioned the timing of President Barack Obama lifting the arms embargo on the Republic of Vietnam the week our country honors the 58,209 who paid the ultimate sacrifice defending our country in the Vietnam War.
This week, countless students will graduate from high school. There will be plenty of backyard barbeques and parties to celebrate, because graduating from high school is arguably the biggest event in a child, as well their parent’s, life.
Like so many graduates before them, many will go on to serve in our Armed Forces. I received an invitation from my nephew Jack, who will graduate from Middleton High School in Idaho.
His invitation included his class motto, which was Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote, “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”
Reading their motto, I couldn’t help but think of those graduates who served and who our country honors Monday, and how thankful we should be for is the traits inside of them that allowed them to give everything for their country.
Brock is the publisher of The Dickinson Press. Contact him at hbrock@thedickinsonpress.com and 701-456-1201.

Opinion by Harvey Brock
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