Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:June 1st, 2010 21:39 EST
mike mullen

Mike Mullen: Vietnam Combat Lessons Apply Today

By SOP newswire3

Vietnam Combat Lessons Apply Today, Mullen Says

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2010 " The military`s top officer yesterday called on Vietnam Veterans to stay connected with today`s servicemembers, saying their lessons learned, especially with post-traumatic stress disorder, can help veterans of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

mike mullenNavy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made the comments as he led a Memorial Day observance at the Vietnam War Memorial here just before six names of fallen Vietnam veterans were added to the iconic, black marble wall.

The Vietnam conflict was a life-defining experience for every American who lived during that era, and it continues to impact us all: the pain, the conflict, the healing, " Mullen said, noting that Vietnam was his first war experience. The lessons we learned in Vietnam were bought at a very great price. Acting on them is the best tribute we can pay to honor those who died. "

Mullen noted that he and his wife, Deborah, came to The Wall after touring Arlington National Cemetery`s Section 60 where many Vietnam veterans are buried near those fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan. As we come to this very hallowed ground, in ways it is like coming home, " he said. I, too, have friends on The Wall. I have classmates on The Wall. "

When the Afghanistan and Iraq wars began after Sept. 11, 2001, Mullen said, he vowed to do everything possible to prevent the disconnect that happened between the American public and the military during the Vietnam war. To his relief, he said, Americans are so incredibly supportive of our military men and women now. "

Mullen said he attributes the changed attitudes to the lessons learned from the Vietnam war era about supporting troops unconditionally. During that time, as a country, we were unable to separate the politics from the people, " he said. We must never allow America to become disconnected from her military. Never.