“The Cost and Consequences of War,” Roger Quindel

I will be using my personal experience in the military, and in Vietnam, as someone who volunteered to serve in the US Army. I arrived in Vietnam on October 22, 1967 and left the base camp (Cu Chi, Vietnam – 25th Infantry Division) a week later. We were involved in combat – both small and large-scale – daily for the next 4 ½ months. I was severely wounded on March 17, 1968 (my unit of 80 people had 18 killed and about 95% wounded during my year of service) and spent the next 11 weeks in a Hospital in Japan where I learned Dr. King was murdered, and watched America in flames. The Army sent 200 of us back to Vietnam on June 6. As we were boarding the plane we were told that Bobbie Kennedy was murdered that morning in California. By that time I despised the war and hated the politicians who abused the Vietnamese people – both sides, our military personnel and the American people. It costs America about $300,000 for every Vietnamese person killed. The Vietnamese peasants at that time earned about $25 a year. We squandered our young men, our nation’s wealth and brought devastation to the people of Vietnam who had fought on our side, rescued our downed pilots and helped drive out the Japanese invaders during World War II. It was a miserable experience that I am so grateful for because it made me truly appreciate life and made me commit my life to peace and social justice.

 

Roger Quindel: US Army 3/13th Artillery, 25th Infantry Division; Purple Heart Recipient. Life Member: Disabled American Veterans Chapter 1, Vietnam Veterans  of America; Vietnam Veterans Against the War & Veterans for Peace. Jobs With Peace Executive Director – 9 years; Milwaukee County Supervisor 16 years; US Census Bureau Manager 2009-10; Boys and Girls Club Community Learning Center Director – 1 year; Executive Director & Coach of City Kids Wrestling Club – 12 years; Milwaukee Kickers Soccer Club & Simba Lions Soccer Club Coach – 25 years.