Silent Forgiveness

We honored and attempted to fulfill our obligation to preserve the rights and freedoms of the Vietnamese people.  We came home to harsh condemnation and disapproval by war protestors.  Even then, I forgave them for their baseless hate.  Even then, I forgave them for substituting their souls with a mob mentality.  Even then, I forgave them the hypocrisy of their street riots, vandalism, terrorism and campus violence.  Even then, I forgave them for judging me by my uniform and short hair.  Even then, I forgave them for calling me “babykiller” and spitting on me.  Even then, I forgave them for failing to see the man of peace, tolerance, and compassion within.  Even then, I understood the sources of their na├»ve, misguided and uninformed views.  Even then, I respected their personal opposition to war, or their dread of combat.  Even now, I remain proud to have assisted the Vietnamese people.  Even now, I would defend to my death humanity’s most-cherished ideals: human rights, freedoms, and liberty.

-William Walsh    2013