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Bonker
March 28, 2003, 04:00 PM
Blowing off steam here...

I took history a class for a coach today who was out. I'm used to my students who have been learning all year to appreciate America and all we owe to those who have sacrificed for us.

The kids I taught today were taught by a coach who doesn't give a damn. Consequently, neither did the kids. We are talking about 17-18 year olds.

Our lesson was the Vietnam war. They all thought is was pointless ancient history. They didn't care at all that more than 50 thousand men died to keep us free from communism. In fact, none knew how many died. The highest guess I got when I asked was 3200. Disgusting.

So after 90 minutes I think about 40% of them understood and also grasped the relevance to what's going on today. They had no idea that the average age of Vietnam soldiers was 19. Nor did they have a clue why we lost (a couple didn't know we lost!)

I was only an infant during Vietnam so I can't ever know what it was really like for our troops but I still take it very personal when people don't care.

I wasn't too concerned with it either when I was 17 so I know that most of them will grow up and will understand someday but it's still hard. I wish I could take them all to the big black wall in Washington and let them see a hardened 55 year old man weep for his lost buddies. My words are a poor substitute.

On the plus side, when we talked about the current war and a few of the students said it was all about oil, I asked Socratic questions for about 5 minutes after which not one of them still believed it was oil. They all know and firmly believe now that our soldiers are dying to protect each of them from terrorism. I'll take any small victory I can get some days! They know that we fight now so that they won't have to fight later.

Sorry for the rant but our veterans need to know that most teachers ARE trying and will never give up the battle to make our youth appreciate the unpayable debt that every American owes to those who will never be able to collect.

If you haven't told a vet thank you lately then find one and DO IT TODAY !

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Average Guy
March 28, 2003, 04:16 PM
Nice going. Every little bit counts.

On the "thank a vet" topic, I revealed to a coworker the other day that I was on the ground for Desert Shield/Storm. She looked at me and said, sincerely, "Thanks." That felt great. You can bet I'm thankful for the men and women over there now.

The Plainsman
March 28, 2003, 04:20 PM
Hear! Hear!

Good show. Somebody needs to teach the little boogers a thing or two about their history. It's a shame that most of us don't give a hoot about history until we're part of it. :(

Bonker
March 28, 2003, 04:37 PM
"It's a shame that most of us don't give a hoot about history until we're part of it."

I'm gonna use that quote :)


And Average Guy, man I admire you gulf war 1 vets. You guys that joined the service in the 70's and 80's did so at a time when America was still under the dark cloud of Vietnam. We didn't know if we could win wars anymore and worse yet, we didn't know if our fellow countrymen would support us for fighting.

I don't see how you did it but I'm so glad you guys did. I wish I had the patriotism and sense of reponsibility, duty, and honor back then that you obviously did.

Shoeless
March 28, 2003, 04:40 PM
Great job Bonker!!


Shoeless

Ebbtide
March 28, 2003, 04:53 PM
Good going!

I have to explain to my parents (old hippies) that everyone over 50 during Viet Nam is now dead. Everyone under 40 does not have any of their own memories of Nam. That just leaves a bunch of baby boomers between 40 and 70 who are still around to remember the real lessons learned. From the sounds of things, I’m glad at least one of them is an educator (you).

I also work with 16-21 year olds and when they mention the "war" it is almost exclusive to Gulf War I. To them, Viet Nam holds as much value as the Korean War did for me when I was in school (I'm 36).

They didn't care at all that more than 50 thousand men died to keep us free from communism.

FYI: The casualty rate was 1:15 for Nam, 1:150,000 in GWI. I can see how your students think 3200 is a high number. Lets wait six months and see what they think, then.

And Average Guy, man I admire you gulf war 1 vets. You guys that joined the service in the 70's and 80's did so at a time when America was still under the dark cloud of Vietnam.

When I joined the Navy in 86 all we did was train to kill the Russians. It took about six years (1996) for me to really believe the USSR had fallen. I thought it was a big hoax for us to let our guard down.

Bonker
March 28, 2003, 05:03 PM
"That just leaves a bunch of baby boomers between 40 and 70 who are still around to remember the real lessons learned. From the sounds of things, I’m glad at least one of them is an educator (you)."

Dude I'm only 34 !!!


"I thought it was a big hoax for us to let our guard down."

I remember thinking the same thing. After all, we had been raised our whole lives to suspect every move the Soviets made. We were taught that their power was equal to ours or better.

RustyHammer
March 28, 2003, 05:10 PM
The Viet Nam war kept US free from communism? How? Please explain!

(I must have been sleeping when I was over there getting my *** shot off ... )

"Our lesson was the Vietnam war. They all thought is was pointless ancient history. They didn't care at all that more than 50 thousand men died to keep us free from communism. "

(No flame intended.)

P.S. Hope you reminded them the French left us hanging there too ...

cratz2
March 28, 2003, 05:36 PM
50,000!

Wow... really? Hate to sound like your students and consider myself pretty well read but I didn't know the total was that high. I was thinking 25,000-35,000.

Regardless of what the war was for, lots of guys gave it their all and got the shaft if they were lucky enough to come home.

Slotback
March 28, 2003, 06:40 PM
RustyHammer:
He only had 90 minutes to mold the skulls full of mush, and it sounds like he did a good job under the circumstances.

Standing Wolf
March 28, 2003, 06:50 PM
Those who don't know history are condemned to repeat it.

Zundfolge
March 28, 2003, 07:50 PM
The highest guess I got when I asked was 3200.

Well what do you expect when they flip on the TV and are told that 15 casualties is "massive" :rolleyes:


Those who don't know history are condemned to repeat it.

Thats what the collectivists that run our public schools want ... they want "useful idiots" ready to happily accept the boot of collectivist totalitarianism on their necks (be it under the name of communism, socialism or whatever "ism" they want to call it).

pax
March 28, 2003, 11:30 PM
Wow, Bonker, what a depressing day. Thank you for making a difference. I'm glad you were able to step in and do that.

I'm moving this over to L&P, because it's not discussing guns per se.

pax

Heisenberg may have been here.

Snaps
March 28, 2003, 11:32 PM
don't stress that man, wait till you and one other guy that just got out of the USMC have to sit there and listen to a professor explain how infantry should operate. now that's when you need to blow off steam.:cuss:

ahadams
March 28, 2003, 11:49 PM
uh Bonker - did you look at it from the perspective that at least 40 percent of the class NOW grasps something of the issues involved? Considering the audience, that's not bad for one 90 minute session. Remember you can't change the whole world at once - just one student at a time.

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