"“A Daughter’s Eyes”

I am the daughter of a Vietnam veteran of the 11th
Cavalry L Troop and this was my first experience at a
veteran union (Nashville 2002). I had a lot of
uncertainty about attending a reunion for a war that
tore at the fabrics of society and brought so much
pain to so many people. My personal thanks goes out to
the men and women of the 11th Cavalry Blackhorse who
has made it capable for me to be writing this letter
and for bringing my father home.

Besides my personal interest about Vietnam lie many
questions about the years of silence about such an
unforgettable time in history. Vietnam was always an
unspoken word at my house. I can’t remember a time
when the Vietnam War was talked about openly. It
essentially was ignored, denied, put in the closet,
what have you. I do not know what happened over there;
needless to say, I was not even around when these
conflicts began. But growing up you could see the
haunting past, and see the pain in my father’s eyes
that no words needed to be associated. You felt the
presence of death and devastation without asking a
single question. So, as I have gotten older and have
reflected on my own childhood, I have come to many
realizations about the Vietnam War.

There is little argument that the Vietnam War was
emotionally, our toughest war. Our soldiers marched
home to furled flags and silent drums. The Veteran
was quickly stereotyped as a victim out of control.
Certainly, there are veterans with problems, severe
and lingering problems, which stem at least in part
from their service in Vietnam, in part from their
reception when they came home. But what should be
said, because it has been so overlooked, is that most
veterans have been able to build on their experiences
in Vietnam. Their lives contradict the stereotype. For
every veteran who had difficulty readjusting, dozens
of others have thrived. This became strongly evident
to me when I attended the Nashville reunion. These men
and women have a bond that unites beyond life. Their
experiences have scorned them for life, but it has
brought out an internal strength that no war movie or
novel can ever portray accurately. Their patriotism
and devotion needs to be recognized, not only for the
past, but also for what they have built for the
future. Above all, Vietnam was a war that asked
everything of a few and nothing of most of America.

Time casts long shadows over memories of all events. I
believe that there is much to learn and everything to
gain by allowing Vietnam veterans to speak about their
history in war. These reunions provide veterans with
therapy and support for their shared experiences, and
in a sense, continuity to move on beyond war, but also
never forget. Most of us will never know the realism
of war, and for that we are more fortunate."
Kristy Miller
 Father's info:
 George E Miller
 11th Cav
 L Troop 3rd platoon