Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 8, 2016

A positive change in attitudes

By Brooks Taylor

By BROOKS TAYLOR

Mt. Pleasant News

A couple of decades ago while covering a Memorial Day program, I glanced over to the honor guard. Sturdy men, all of them, but graying. I am sure most of them were World War II or Korean veterans.

I thought to myself about who is going to take their place at these events in years to come. Zip ahead two decades and I now see Vietnam War veterans standing where World War II veterans once stood.

We have come a long way.

And it is a good progression, mighty good. I was a college student during the Vietnam War. I was attending college in South Dakota when they were protesting at Kent State and the University of California-Berkley. Sadly, whenever Kent State is mentioned, we baby boomers think of the Vietnam War protest that left three dead or the Crosby, Still and Nash song about the Kent State shootings…you know, “three dead in Ohio.”

There were no celebrations when the troops came back from Vietnam like there were for every war preceding it. Instead, we heard about things like Agent Orange, drug use and other maladies that went on in the southeast Asia country.

But why should Vietnam veterans have been treated differently? It was because the belief was that we, unlike any other war in the 20th century, had lost the war in Vietnam. I, however, believe that our troops were not given the opportunity to win due to the incompetency of their superiors and politics.

Over the years, the pain has eased, attitudes have changed. From what I have seen, Vietnam veterans today are being given the same respect and gratitude that their predecessors received. That is heartwarming.

Regardless of the perception of victory, the Vietnam veterans fought with same energy and conviction as our troops in any war. It is about time we give them the respect they deserve.

Iowa doesn’t play Ohio State in football this year. Too bad because if they would play, Iowa would have a legitimate chance to win for the second time in the last nine games with the Buckeyes.

Silly me, I thought former Ohio State Jim Tressel was a good guy. Next to Joe Paterno, he was my favorite coach in the Big Ten not wearing Black and Gold.

It amazes me why schools like Ohio State think they have to cheat to win. Let’s get real, Ohio State doesn’t recruit, they just pick. It has to be greed. Being good isn’t good enough, we have to be great.

When schools like Ohio State and Southern Cal skirt the rules, it makes you wonder who doesn’t. Maybe it’s just a case that the others haven’t been caught…yet.

Maybe that is why they used to call the old Southwestern Conference (SWC) ‘sure we cheat.’