Remembering My Return Home from Vietnam Featured

Major Stephen Wopershall, RN March 28, 2024 371
US Airforce general photo of Vietnam War - does not depict the author. US Airforce general photo of Vietnam War - does not depict the author. Photo in the Public Domain.

The Vietnam War was bad. The return home was life altering.

Big Idea  

  • Friday, March 29, 2024 is National Vietnam Veterans Day
  • Those who returned home were often met by protestors against the war, against our soldiers
  • Staying composed was almost impossible
  •

Editor's Note: Friday, March 29th is National Vietnam Veterans Day. Major Stephen Wopershall, RN shares his experiences coming back to the States after his service in Vietnam. Sadly, his experiences were not unique. 

Returning home From Vietnam in 1969, after surviving the worst year in my life was a life altering event. Death, dying, catastrophic injuries, along with inhumane grotesque events called war at the forefront of our minds, those of us on a plane coming home. I was a Navy Hospital  Corpsman  attached to the 5Th Marines  the entire prior year.



We landed at Camp, Pendleton, California. Off the plane we boarded a bus which took us to a centralized staging area to board other buses, headed to different bases throughout California. There were many war protesters, and many people, waving signs against the war, and against us who had just returned.

Following in line to the next boarding area, a middle-aged woman hit me over the head with a sign which read “BABY  KILLER“ as she screamed the words out loud!!! I instantly felt all the survival emotions I had felt the year prior as well as my destructive tendencies developed during that year. I started to bolt towards this woman, hands outstretch towards her neck with all the intentions to neutralize her, when all of a sudden, I was pulled backwards by a corporal, who had grabbed the back of my shirt at the neck, and said “Not  here doc, not now, she's not worth it”.       

Looking back, that specific event changed my life forever. God only knows what would've happened had  I completed that task.

That corporal literally saved my life. I will never forget that specific event, nor that particular corporal. Semper Fi forever.

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Last modified on Thursday, 28 March 2024 22:02
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