Michael D. Moberly March 30, 2016 ‘A blog where attention span really matters’!
‘It’s time we asked’ is the title given to a project developed by ‘us brothers’ (Michael D. and Stephen D. Moberly). Conceptually, the project evolved from far too many instances wherein we witnessed, i.e., heard parents, grandparents, wives, children, loved one’s, and friends of Vietnam War combat veterans utter the telling phrase ’he never talks about it’, to which, our consistent response is, and will always be, ‘did you ever ask’?
We admit the actual percentage is unknown…but, suspect it is significant, that is, the number of Vietnam War combat veterans, who, upon returning home, received few genuine – sincere inquiries regarding their experiences. Anecdotally, we have identified common rationalizations justifications loved ones frequently applied insofar as exhibiting a reluctance – absence of inquiry with one or a variant of the following, i.e.,
…I am going to – I believe it’s best to wait for him to bring the subject up…
…we don’t know what to ask, how to ask it…
…we just assumed he didn’t want to talk about it because he hasn’t said anything yet…
The ‘absence of inquiry’…generally, perhaps obviously, arose within familial circumstances and variously remain embedded in the common, but largely unrecognized impasse, i.e.,…
…why one party (the combat veteran) may have elected not to talk about it, and
…the other party (family member, loved one, etc.) may have elected not to ask about it!
Too, the reception for returning Vietnam War veterans, on the whole, and, for a variety of reasons, aside from individual family treatments, was far less generous compared to veterans returning from generational wars that preceded and followed Vietnam. Us brothers hold no illusions, nor do we believe the ‘it’s time we ask’ project will manifest as an antidote for wholly reconciling such circumstances. We suspect for some veterans the deferential ‘home coming’ influenced their inclination for silence and anonymity, i.e., ‘he never talks about it’, which was far too often interpreted as ‘he doesn’t want to talk about it’.
So, for many Vietnam War veterans returning home, any muted – slighted reception remains confusing as does the still occasionally heard phrase, ‘but, the Vietnam War was different, it was unpopular’.
Such inattention, however it was intended or rationalized at the time, especially by individuals one could legitimately presume to have had a personal interest and responsibility to ask, was routinely and in numerous instances remains variously translated by (Vietnam War) combat veterans particularly, as apathy, disrespect, or having succumbed to the ample anti-war rhetoric which was a consistent feature of the news, providing content to public – family discourse.
Us brothers suspect as well, some of the inattention manifested as an absence to much needed (at will, informal) path to – emotional outlet for reconciling…
…what they had done.
…what they had seen, and the
…physical-emotional endurance and resilience integral to combat.
(Mr. Moberly is an intangible asset strategist and risk specialist and author of ‘Safeguarding Intangible Assets’ published by Elsevier in 2014, email@example.com View Mr. Moberly’s videos on YouTube at ‘Safeguarding Intangible Assets’. This post represents some of Mr. Moberly’s writing about his experiences in Vietnam as a combat soldier assigned to the 173d Airborne Brigade in 1969.)