What One Veteran Said

by Mark Chmiel

Vietnam veteran Wayne Smith: We were broken. I had so much anger and pain. I was crushed. I left like I had blood on my hands. I resisted calling the Vietnamese gooks and dinks, but near the end of it I found those vulgar words would come out of my mouth several times; I had contempt for myself. How could I have been so stupid and foolish to believe this country? How could I have been so foolish to think that I could really save lives as a medic? How could I really make a difference in the face of so many catastrophic injuries?

–from the oral history by Clara Bingham, Witness to the Revolution:
Radicals, Resisters, Vets, Hippies, and the Year America Lost Its Mind and Found Its Soul

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Wayne Smith

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