BRISTOL, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -Tens of thousands of Mainer veterans have been remembering Vietnam this year, as the country has marked the 50th anniversary of that war. Vietnam is still a difficult memory for many of those who served there, and for millions of Americans.
Those veterans are now in their mid-sixties and seventies, beginning the new generation of old vets. Like all soldiers, many came home with emotional scars that never completely heal, and memories that may never go away.
News Center’s Don Carrigan sat down with Vietnam combat veteran Stan Benner of Bristol, who shared his story of the war, and the challenge of dealing with the memories, half a century later. He was drafted into the Army, and served in the 4th Infantry Division in 1966, eventually becoming platoon sergeant.
Among the questions— did all the fighting accomplish a goal for the country?
“ I never thought so and I don’t think a lot of the guys did,” he said. “But no, I can’t say that I know what we were fighting for, or why we was over there. What was our goal? You go over there and shoot people and come home. What did we accomplish? Didn’t accomplish a thing as far as I can see.”
And then he thought about what’s happened in the years since the war ended.