As Chastity and Laura got older, they saw how much hatred for those who served in Vietnam. They heard people call Uncle Vinnie filthy names.
They heard the words baby killer whispered loudly, and that alone probably hurt them more than anything else.
It hurt them so they were sure it hurt Uncle Vinnie even more.
He had been paralyzed in Vietnam, he had come back in a chair, but the girls would often hear people say he should have come back in a body bag. He deserved death, because he had served his country.
Chastity nor Laura could understand how people who supposedly loved peace so much could become so violent. They saw things get thrown at their uncle, and him spit on. It was so degrading. Why did people have to hate things they did not know?
When they were younger, Teresa had been able to protect their daughter from some of the things that happened to Uncle Vinnie, the way he was spit on, the way he was called Baby Killer, the threats, but now they were older and they saw more. They had learned about the horrors of Vietnam in school, and some of the things that the soldiers went through, and they knew without a doubt Uncle Vinnie was a hero.
All of the hatred in the world was not going to change that fact. They were not going to stop looking up to Uncle Vinnie.
The war had taken a lot from Uncle Vinnie, his legs, but more than that the respect he deserved.
It had taken the ability to have a good night sleep. Often when he was spending the night, the girls would hear him crying out in his sleep. They knew instantly he was having a flashback to Vietnam, remembering a buddy going down or something. So many lives lost, so many heroes, but the heroes were treated like the enemy.
Heroes deserved better than this. Uncle Vinnie deserved the world’s respects, not the hatred that flowed through the veins of so many.
Lord I am trying to understand how this could turn into something positive for Uncle Vinnie, how something good could come out of this. Uncle Vinnie always tells us in time it will, but I don’t know. I have trouble understanding your ways sometimes. Chastity prayed.
Some things the girls knew they never would understand this side of glory, but they knew one thing for sure, they were living in a changing world. A new decade had dawned, the 1980’s and with that a new hope. The hatred for those serving in Vietnam were slowly dissipating but the indifference wasn’t. Uncle Vinnie was one of the blessed ones he had a home to go too, he was not going to have to live on the streets, but more and more vets were popping up on street corners, trying to find hope in a bottle of whiskey or a joint.
It saddened the girls to know that any hero should end up like this, but that was the way it was. The world was changing but some many heroes were being left behind, to deal with the flashbacks, the memories and trying to hide from them in too much drink and drug.
Thankfully this was not Uncle Vinnie, but they knew it hurt Uncle Vinnie to know that some of his comrades far too many actually ended up like this.
This Concludes Flower Children