Vietnam Experience Personal Reflection

The Vietnam War was the most prolonged war in the United States history that primarily steered to the First Indochina War (1946-1954) between France, which declared Vietnam as a colony, and the Socialist troops then distinguished as Viet Minh. In the year 1973, a "third" Vietnam Battle started a succession, separating North and South Vietnam but without notable United States embroilment. It closed with Socialist triumph in April 1975. The Vietnam Battle was remarkably discordant in the United States., Europe, and Australia and abroad. Since the United States slipped to realise a militant success and the Republic of South Vietnam was eventually won over by North Vietnam, the Vietnam encounter became acknowledged as "the single war America ever suffered." The war remains to be a very contentious topic that still to affect federal and military determinations today. The fighting had far-reaching consequences. The United States suffered over 47,000 murdered in effect plus another 11,000 noncombat mortalities; above 150,000 injured individuals and 10,000 missing. To learn how the battle in Vietnam altered the direction of the life of the personages who took part in the Vietnam Battle we study at publications When Heaven and Earth Changed Places and In Pharaoh’s Army.

In the work When Heaven and Earth Changed Places, the novelist records of her Father’s dying: The Author asserts that Death and suffering, not personalities, suits your adversary; and everything that subsists is your ally. It was as if, by apprehending this, an immense weight had been lifted from my young arms. Of her father’s passing, she had subsequently determined how to endure. This section surfaces in Chapter 7. Trong speaks to Le Ly fables of outstanding Vietnamese women soldiers while she is a growing girl. As a teenager, Le Ly aspires to be a soldier, to combat like men, yielding up their days for a reason. Nevertheless, her dad informs her that her purpose is far grander: to have kids and see them as a parent, coaching them about their relatives, the area, and order. Notwithstanding her father’s belief, Le Ly believes that her purpose is to combat alongside the Viet Cong. The novelist was dismayed about her eviction from her community and the Viet Cong but still she felt necessary struggling along her fellow nationals since they were caught up in war.


Her father dying causes her inner harmony and recognition about her purpose in life; it signifies a transforming point for Le Ly. She begins acknowledging what she holds and works vigorously to get out of Vietnam. Her standpoint changes from seeming desperate to feeling like a soldier who would subdue the difficulties, defend her children, and withstand. Strife, statesmanship, and honour were no longer necessary. Her commitment is to her junior, to her family, and to protecting them for the eventuality. Her hostility to the Viet Cong and the community that dismissed her, to her rapists, to the person she admired who deserted her, and to the drunken GIs, all disappear. Her father's opinion attends her see that these characters were not the adversary: their dread and horror delivered on by conflict was the opponent. When she comes know her father's belief of humankind, she can forget all factions for their offences throughout the war. This theory that war, not characters, is the villain is the fortitude for her charge to heal the bruises caused by the war to all affected. Her biography is her forgiveness in action, a return to the war-torn nation in an endeavour to start to fix some of the destruction done.

The Vietnam War also taught Tobia Wolff how to live this apparent on an autobiographical account by Tobias Wolff. These were the chronicles of the author's assignment of duty in the Vietnam War and the consequence of his experience as he endeavoured to conform to civilian life. The account also illustrates the causative factors that led Wolff to choose to serve his nation, providing the perspicacity that there are seldom less than distinct ideas when one makes such a life-changing judgment. The scenes in Wolf’s experience in Vietnam portrays the remarkable differences that existed between the Americans soldiers and the people of Vietnam. On his appointment as the expert to the South Vietnamese unit, Wolf spent a year in the United States learning Vietnamese and he eventually mastered the language. While walking around with colleagues from the Vietnamese Army, two of the officers in his company came across a small puppy. One of them held the puppy and rotated it around his head and then tied it to a tree and these upset Wolf and demanded to know how they intended to name the animal. The soldiers laughed wickedly and responded that they could call it "Dog Stew". The serjeant got hold of the puppy and swayed it over a fire to see Wolf's reaction. Wolf ignored their actions on realising that they were playing with his psychology and still his cultural background and ethnicity could not let him interrupt their action.

Another situation that conferred the element of rapprochement in the text was when a collection of Vietnamese beat Wolff outside a bar. He tried convincing them that he was not the man they were looking for but the people ignored his plea. They came to realise that they had the wrong person when another American came out the bar. Wolf noted that according to the people of Vietnam all the white people looked same.

Wolff's examination of the Tet attack is striking. "As a fighting project, Tet failed; as a lesson it worked. Wolf reflects over Vietnam Cong and its towns since he knew the events that followed. However, they knew that the American soldiers were to kill anybody who tried disrupting them from accomplishing their mission by shielding their enemy. They taught their people that claims about love and protection, friendship and fellowship were fabricated, and we shunned and doubted them instead. They assured the people that the American soldiers would kill anybody to save their skins. A lesson taught to the individuals and us as well and at least to me. This excerpt depicts how Wolff's life got distorted and how he had embraced it. The fact that the war in Vietnam was disastrous and it changed the perception of life for the American soldiers and the Viet nationals. Events in the Vietnam War instilled fear in the people of Vietnam. The fact that some of the soldiers and the people witnessed their comrades or family's murder was traumatising.

Family played a significant role in both books. In the book When Heaven and Earth Changed Places, it is easy to understand that the family significantly influenced the life and activities of Le ly. Her father played a crucial role in advising Le ly on the next move which he would take in life. Both books portray the important role the family plays in reuniting people who had been separated as a result of the war. We find that both characters in these books attain peace by reuniting with their families. They are relieved of their worries. There are different features in these two books where the characters depicted were not fighting the same battle rather they fought the war according to their ideological beliefs and this practice had far-reaching consequences. The other difference between the two books is that there was significant gender disparity between the characters. Women affected by the war were faced with various challenges and atrocities including rape, mistreatment and abandonment. However, it is evident that the war impact on men was little since they managed to watch television on the thanksgiving day was more important than any other day.

The Vietnam War was as a result of the Vietnamese political identity and culture. Various factors have been used to determine the Vietnamese political culture. The nation’s political tradition is one that entails borrowing ideas to indigenous conditions. In several ways socialism mainly represents new language in which to express aged but consistent cultural inclinations and orientations. Vietnam's administrative methods, accordingly, include as much from the widespread belief as from the logical affairs engendered by current issues. Vietnam's administrative practice pictures, consequently, the constant endurance of what is Vietnamese in the light of a long account of external influence; synthesis of classical political prototypes with an introduced Marxist organisational pattern has devised a radical identification that is no less Vietnamese.

American concluded its war in Vietnam came to an end in 1973 and the collapse of the Saigon, a city in the Southern Vietnam that was well known for its immense contributions to the war followed in 1975. However, the expected criticism and rebirth over the lost war did not happen and only a few blames. Most American decided to remain silent and avoided assumptions and discussions over the war America's lost war. Negligence contributed to strong interest in the war in that began in the 1980s. There were discussions about the war and the lessons learnt from media, scholarly journals and even the people of Vietnam.

Henry Kissinger, the National Secretary of state, caused the degradation and loss of self- esteem to societies that though of the United States as a fallen nation. The American authority was distressed and had lost hope and these even affected America’s 1976 Anniversary celebrations. It was a big heartbreak for the people of America. American had spent approximately $167 on war and these majorly contributed to the fall of their economy. The president was also blamed on America's crumbling economy because his struggles to finance war and America's big economy were not realisable. Considerations to hike the levels of taxation could save America’s economy however late it was. America’s economic distress resulted to inflation and these led to crumbling of the American people's living standards between the years the 1960s to 1990s. The characters from both books can see the ugly side of warfare and as a result, they shun away from violence this is evident in both books. As a result of shunning away from violence, both characters can save the lives of very many people who would have died as a result of their participation in the war.


The war in Vietnam was a significant loss to the Americans in term of finance, power and pride. The war also affected the soldiers and the people of Vietnam psychologically because the encounters were horrifying. The war changed the public perception of American's authority and their character and ability were questionable. People were uncertain about America's participation in war since they had lost trust in their soldiers. People lost confidence in the army for years. They could not imagine if America's soldiers could conquer war and or even get back their reputation. America lost its public Image after its war in Vietnam and these affected the pride of the American people. Rebuilding the Army and authority’s image and confidence to people was not easy.

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Aug 28, 2020 in History Essay Samples