Wounds of Vietnam war still fresh in the U.S. 40 years after the fall of Saigon. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
It was some 40 years ago that Saigon fell, the recognized end of the Vietnam war. The war in Vietnam war dragged on from 1957 to 1975, polarizing the U.S. and forcing more than a million people to flee Vietnam. Veterans who survived the war often faced a backlash at home reflecting bitter public opposition to the war. Veteran Thomas Berger, now with the Vietnam Veteran's Association says those who served did so with honor, despite the reception at home. (SOUNDBITE) (English) THOMAS BERGER - VIETNAM VETERAN AND AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF VETERANS HEALTH COUNCIL AT THE VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA SAYING: "It was a bad war. We can argue, and I argue that Americans who were there served and fought as well as Americans in any war, OK? We won the battles, but politically we lost the war. Politically, there was no grand strategy, there was no exit strategy. The war went on and on and finally the American public said enough, we've had it." He says the legacy of the conflict lives on. (SOUNDBITE) (English) THOMAS BERGER - VIETNAM VETERAN AND AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF VETERANS HEALTH COUNCIL AT THE VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA SAYING: "What I think is overlooked is the troops served honorably and fought as well as the greatest generation from WWII, as the guys in Korea, a the folks in Afghanistan and Iraq but because we didn't win ...quote, unquote. We were blamed to a great extent." Some 58,000 Americans died in the Vietnam War, with more than 2,600 still listed as missing in action. A war that ended decades ago, where the scars still have not fully healed.