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Evaluation Essay

How did the American culture advance from the Vietnam War Era? Cornelia Roberts-Pryce
Chamberlain College of Nursing
HUMN-303N-14171: Introduction to Humanities
Spring 2013

* Introduction to the Community: Identify the community you will be using for this paper and provide a brief description of the community. Your community should be the area where you live or the area surrounding your work setting. * Windshield Survey: Assess your community by doing an informal windshield survey. Drive through the area and identify types of housing, schools, churches, healthcare providers, and environmental or safety hazards. You will need to discuss the following six observations in your paper. 1. Community vitality

2. Indicators of social and economic conditions
3. Health resources
4. Environmental conditions related to health
5. Social functioning
Attitude toward healthcare

I. Introduction and Thesis Statement
Consider the impact of the Vietnam War on American culture. In the decades prior to the 1980s, two issues beset American culture: civil rights and the Vietnam War. Both were televised directly into living rooms on all three channels. On college campuses throughout the world, but especially on American campuses, antiwar protests were routine. Hippies often were thought to conduct themselves on the premises of antiwar, free sex, and lots of drugs. The music that emerged from this era is still famously current and listened to today. It was an era of convertibles, gas guzzlers, freedom, and endless summers. Then that generation grew into adults–(your parents and grandparents). Writing with sensitivity to the nuances of the era, what happened to the dream? Thesis: The Vietnam War Era and its influence on American culture. II. Events that Led to the war.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_did_the_Vietnam_War_start (James Avery, 2012) The Era of the 1960s and 1970s was a tumultuous time for the American people. Not only was there a war going on with many American lives being lost every day but on college campuses throughout the nation students were protesting the draft and the war itself. Additionally, the Civil Rights movement was at its climax and Blacks and their sympathizers were fighting for their rightful place in the American society. It was the Era that produced the “Baby Boomers” and all of the impact this has brought to the American culture as they become the aging population of the Millennium. Today, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall) has moved beyond its role as an international symbol of healing and stands as a living history lesson, but many of today’s young people have a limited knowledge of the Vietnam War. The war was influenced by the fact that the American President at the time did not want Communism to be spread in the East and eventually to America..

In 1957 the Soviet Union proposes a permanent division of North and South Vietnam, and separate inclusion of both in the United Nations. The US refuses to agree to this, maintaining the sovereignty of the south. The conflict took place in stages over several decades. Frustrated with the lack of progress to reunite the north and south motivates Ho-(The Chinese leader) tried to re-ignite violence and the Second Indo China War wages from 1957 through 1961 against the government of South Vietnam.

After a visit by Vice President Johnson in May 1961, President Kennedy orders 400 Green Berets to report as special advisers to the forces of South Vietnam in matters of counter-insurgency and guerrilla warfare. The role of the Green Berets expands to include the establishment of the CIDG (Civilian Irregular Defense Groups) who attempt to stop incursions by North Vietnamese troops.

In October 1961 in response to reports from his military advisers, Kennedy increases the troop strength in Vietnam to 8000. November 1963 President Kennedy is assassinated and Lyndon Johnson in sworn in. By Christmas Eve 1964 US troops in Vietnam grows to 23,000. Johnson is elected to the office of President and takes office in 1965. Operation Rolling Thunder begins and 100 US bombers begin attacking targets in North Vietnam in continuous attacks. On March 8, 1965 3500 US Marines Land at China Beach to defend the air base at Da Nang, joining the 23,000 advisers as the first US combat troops in country. In April, Johnson orders an increase of 20,000 support personnel in South Vietnam. In May, Johnson increases troop strengths again by ordering in the 173rd Airborne Brigade, 3500 combat troops. July Johnson orders an increase to 125,000 troops, made up of forty-four battalions. By year end, troop levels in Vietnam reach 184,000.

By 1967 US troop levels in Vietnam reach 389,000. Casualties rise to 5008 killed, and 30,093 wounded. Congress authorizes war support of $4.5 billion. Johnson increases troop strengths from 475,000 to 520,000. Johnson halts Rolling Thunder in 1968 with hopes of restarting peace talks; the US loses 922 planes and crews in 302,380 sorties. By the end of 1968 the number of US troops in Vietnam holds at 495,000 and 30,000 KIA.

In January 1969, Richard Nixon becomes the 37th US President. Five US Presidents have been involved in the conflict in Vietnam. By April 1969 troop levels top out at 539,000, casualties reach 33,641.

By July of 1969 Nixon begins withdrawing troops with the recall of 800 9th Infantry soldiers. In September, Nixon orders reductions of 35,000 troops and reduces the draft. By December, Nixon orders home another 50,000 troops. He promises the withdrawal of 150,000 in 1970, and troops strengths fall to 156,300 by the end of 1971. Troop reductions continue, and on April 8, 1975 at 8:34 AM the last US soldier, a US Embassy Marine leaves Vietnam’ The climate of the period:

During that time the Civil Rights movement was at its climax and students were protesting a number of issues including the rights of the Black population, the draft (which was later changed from mandatory to volunteer), the war itself, freedom of the press and other political issues. The era is famous for its “muscle” cars and free love. It was the time of the Woodstock concert which was highly publicized- the historic field where hundreds of thousands of rock music lovers gathered in August 1969. And the music is still popular even today. A 1994 festival on the same site was better organized and more successful financially, if less legendary. In 1999 a third festival was marred by a small riot. The Museum at Bethel Woods, a multimedia exhibit space attached to a performing arts center, opened in 2008, with the stated mission of preserving the original festival site and educating visitors about the music and culture of the Woodstock era.

During this era there was a large contingency of hippies whose motto was “make love not war”. They protested the war and advocated nonviolence and love. By the mid-1970s the movement had waned, and by the 1980s hippies had given way to a new generation of young people who were intent on making careers for themselves in business and who came to be known as yuppies (young urban professionals). Nonetheless, hippies continued to have an influence on the wider culture, seen, for example, in more relaxed attitudes toward sex, in the new concern for the environment, and in a widespread lessening of formality. III. Effects of Advancement ( James L. Gibson ,2009)

. One outcome of the protests and coverage by the press was the introduction of social justice teaching in the curriculum of public schools. “Social-justice teaching is … about teaching kids to question who ever happens to hold the reins of power at a particular moment. It’s about seeing yourself not just as a consumer [of information], but as an actor-critic” in the world around you, said Bill Bigelow, the curriculum editor for Rethinking Schools, a Milwaukee-based organization that publishes instructional materials and policy papers related to issues of race, equity, and education policy. Various war weapons were used in the Vietnam including herbicides. These herbicides were developed for the military to help reduce plant and vegetation in dense terrains, bringing the enemy out of hiding and protecting the American troops and their allies from ambush. They were also used to destroy any food crops that the Viet Cong relied on to feed their army of soldiers. Statistics show that over 20 million gallons were sprayed with 15 different herbicides, some being color coded arriving in barrels, and all supposedly with no harmful effects to humans. The spray was released from airplanes, helicopters, trucks, and soldiers carrying backpack sprayers. Little did anyone know at this time, that more tragic history surrounding the Vietnam War was about to unfold, and the name of the devil
was Agent Orange.

Agent Orange was a code name for the barrel with the orange colored steel band. Chemically, it is a 50/50 mixture of two different herbicides, 2, 4-D, and 2, 4, 5-T, and 11 million gallons of this toxic defoliant was used between 1965 through 1970. Over 6,000 missions, with 10% being over Vietnam, were sprayed with Agent Orange, and some in Cambodia and Laos to utilize the Ho Chi Minh Trail, which was a key supply route for the Viet Cong. Agent Orange killed vegetation of all types including the root systems, leaving barren trees and undergrowth blackened and foul smelling.

One of the components of Agent Orange was a chemical called Dioxin, which today is considered to be one of the most dangerous substances in the world. Dioxin is also known as TCDD, which caused a variety of adverse health effects in lab animals, and has been linked to numerous potentially dangerous and deadly health problems. The World Health Organization has since classified the chemical Dioxin as a known human carcinogen which can damage sensitive parts of the body like the endocrine, immune, and nervous systems. Many Americans still continue to suffer from different health problems due to Agent Orange and Dioxin with some being passed on down to their children with various complications. In 1978 the Veterans Administration set up a program to help veterans with their needs from being exposed to Agent Orange. Some of the effects from this devastating chemical like Skin irritation and some skin diseases like Chloracne, Nerve disorders including peripheral neuropathy, Type 2 diabetes, Miscarriages in women Birth defects, some physical deformities and SpinaBifida, Neurological disorders, Cancers. Over 900,000 of the survivors of the war had to deal with wounds, amputations, and Post traumatic stress disorder.

While some of these things discussed may not be considered advancements at first glance it is because the military learned a great deal about warfare and how to use the weapons including biological weapons efficiently and effectively. It is during this time of war that Arpanet was first introduced. It was made in March 26, 1976, and eventually morphed into the internet. The Vietnam War had many long lasting effects on the veterans who fought for America from the 1950s to the 1970s. Some veterans from Vietnam even formed groups against the war. These veterans formed an organization known as Vietnam Veterans against the War. The organization had a purpose, “It was organized to voice the growing opposition among returning servicemen and women to the still-raging war in Indochina, and grew rapidly to a membership of over 30,000 throughout the United States as well as active duty GIs stationed in Vietnam. Discuss how the advancement affected the humanities (Samus Bendwan, 2009) Interview with Frank Christie, 2013

Q. Were you drafted for the war or did you volunteer
A: I was drafted in 1967
Q. How long was your tour of duty?
A: Until 1971
Q. What was your impression of the Vietnamese people and Vietcon ? A: They were willing to do anything to kill us. They would use women and kids to deter us from killing them. It was a vicious war. Q. How were things in the US and at home different from when you left? A. I was injured and had an honorable discharge but I did not feel like a hero. The American public treated us as victims as much as victimizers, if not as brave heroes, no one was there to celebrate my homecoming. I have fellow comrades that committed suicide after the war. I had to fight for my benefits and had a hard time finding a job. I found it difficult to get educational and medical benefits and to maintain family relationships.

The Veterans Administration had to change their policies so that they could treat us better and finally developed programs to address the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) afflicting as many as 700,000 of us. I got involved with the civil rights movement and the end of the draft things were different from before I left. Some good things were that and the government finally started to recognize us as heroes even though we didn’t win the war and the Public started viewing us differently after this ambiguous war the only thing left is the Veterans Memorial as a somber reminder of the loss of too many young Americans, and of what the war did to the United States and its messianic belief in its own overweening virtue.

The Vietnam War has been publicly portrayed in a number of prominent films. Taxi Driver, Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket and Platoon are just some of those Discuss how the advancement affected the world (insert author and date) As a result of the activities during this era subcultures and counter cultures arose some of which are still in existence today. Some examples of those is the feminist movement, the pop culture (a new and different kind of musical preference following) the hippies.

IV. Evolution of the Advancement
Discuss how the advancement has evolved (Marcus s. Cox, 1973) America has an over 200 year tradition of underground publications spanning a wide range of social and political expression. One notable period in this tradition was the era of the 1960s and early 1970s, and students’ efforts to express themselves and challenge the status quo. Student attention was drawn to issues such as the Vietnam War, women’s rights, and civil rights, while university administrators sought to maintain orderly campuses through increasingly restrictive regulations. This led to free speech and less suppression of the press and what they could or could not write. Not all the outcomes of the era were positive. The Vietnam War affected some veterans in a very negative way. Many veterans also suffered from negative stereotypes of Vietnam veterans following the Vietnam War. It is stated, “There are persistent stereotypes about Vietnam veterans as psychologically devastated, bitter, homeless, drug-addicted homeless people.” (Cox,1973) It was during this era that heroine was introduced into the country.

The returning vets found themselves addicted because they used narcotics to help forget the pain. Discuss effects of advancement on later time periods (Marcus S. Cox, 1968-1973) The Civil Rights movement began in the 60’s and Martin Luther King Jr. was a protestor of the War. While Black college campuses throughout the South reacted to King’s assassination, in Baton Rouge over 2,000 students and community residents marched to the State Capital to protest racism and discrimination in Louisiana. It was a time of change as the American Public had not seen in times past. The rest of the world saw the tumultuous times and many other countries became interested in the outcome of the movement. The outcome was laws upholding equality for everyone, including Anti-discrimination, equal opportunity and the right to vote.

V. Conclusion
The era of the Vietnam war was an era of turmoil chaos and change. There were demonstrations about the war, freedom of speech, the Civil Rights movement when Blacks and their sympathizers were fighting for their rightful place in the American society and the feminist movement. It was the Era that produced the “Baby Boomers”, Rock and Roll, the internet and many other changes that deeply influenced change and new laws in the US and even throughout the world. There were developments in biological warfare and the US learned about PTSD and treating the trauma of war experienced by our veterans. References

The Author, James Avery is a frequent contributor to Answers.Com and has made many contributions to Wikipedia. He frequently corrects errors in some of the answers and is very active on the page. Sampson Bendwan is an author for ArticlesBase and has written over 20 published and reviewed articles. He has been a member since July 2009 He is a history buff from Silver Springs, MD. http://www.articlesbase.com/politics-articles/facts-about-the-vietnam-war-1647799.html

Frank Christie-Interview with a Veteran, Mr. Christie served in Vietnam from 1967 to 1971. During that time he witness and participated in combat and was discharged after he sustained a life changing injury. He is currently a retired auto mechanic who lives in New Jersey and is a widower. Marcus S. Cox. “Keep Our Black Warriors Out of the Draft”: The Vietnam Antiwar Movement at Southern University, 1968-1973Marcus S. Cox is an assistant professor of history and director of African-American studies at The Citadel, Charleston, South Carolina.

James L. Gibson The Journal of Politics / Volume 51 / Issue 01 / February 1989, pp 13-35 Political Science Association 1989 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2131607 (About DOI), Published online: 18 December 2009 James L. Gibson is a professor of political science at the University of Houston. In this article the author analyses the relationship between mass and elite political intolerance and the adoption of repressive public policies by the states of the United States. He focuses on statutes adopted by the states during the Vietnam War era that were designed to quash dissent on university campuses.

The analysis reveals that repressive public policy reflected neither the intolerance of the mass public nor the political elites in the state. Instead, restrictions on campus protest seemed to be a direct response to levels of disruption on the campuses. Manzo, K. (2008). Election Renews Controversy over Social-Justice Teaching. Education Week, 28(10), 1. This article was written during the 2008 presidential campaign. Social-justice teaching has been under an especially harsh because one of its exponents is William C. Ayers, a leader of the violent Weather Underground of the Vietnam War era whose ties to Barack Obama have become a prominent issue for opponents of the Democratic presidential nominee. This article presents arguments from the proponents and opponents of social-Justice teaching in schools. http://www.britannica.com.proxy.devry.edu/EBchecked/topic/266600/hippie Encyclopedia Britannica, History and Society

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