“No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now.” – President Richard M. Nixon, 1985.
About the War
The Vietnam War, fought from 1959 to 1975, involved the United States forces and the South Vietnamese army fighting the North Vietnamese and the National Liberation Front (NLF), was the longest military conflict in U.S. history. The hostilities in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia claimed more than 58,000 American lives and many thousands were wounded. During the First Indochina War, from 1946 until 1954, the Vietnamese had struggled for their independence from French colonialism. At the end of this war, the country was temporarily divided into North and South Vietnam.
North Vietnam came under the control of the Vietnamese Communists who opposed France and aimed for a unified Vietnam under Communist rule. South Vietnam was controlled by Vietnamese who collaborated with the French. In 1965 the United States sent in troops to prevent the South Vietnamese government from collapsing. Ultimately, however, the United States did not achieve its ultimate goal and in 1975 Vietnam was reunified under Communist control and in 1976 it officially became the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Sometimes one brief commercial on radio can change your life. That is what happened to me when I heard Hugh Hewitt on his radio show and took his advice. Hugh recommended to go see the movie Ride The Thunder. At the movie house, on a quiet Sunday afternoon, 40 miles away from my home, I met the nicest bunch of people; the author of the book Ride The Thunder, the producers, actors, Vietnam veterans and many friends, all working together, tirelessly, to bring the movie to public awareness.
The question that came to my mind was, how did this movie come about? I received the answer from the author, Richard Botkin, a financial advisor residing in Sacramento, California, who wrote the book Ride the Thunder: A Vietnam War Story of Honor and Triumph, published by WorldNetDaily (WND)
“God inspired me to write the book,” Richard finds an incontestable and thus easy way to explain his venturing into unfamiliar territory of authoring a book and producing a full feature movie on a very limited budget.
Richard, a member of the United States Marine Corps, is an Evangelical Christian whose maternal grandfather was a Sephardic Jew. In the early 1900s, as a young boy, his grandfather arrived in the United States from Turkey. Ultimately he ended up in Hawaii, which was then a melting pot, where he married Richard’s grandmother who was Portuguese and Roman Catholic.
“Most Americans do not know the truth about this War and they are intellectually lazy to learn about it, so my goal is to get history right,” Richard explains the main motive for his 5 years work to write the book.
Learning Journey and Discovery Process
“My learning journey and discovery process began in 2003 and completed in 2008. I visited Vietnam four times, I conducted interviews, and in each I discovered different story. My book is based on the history of the War through the eyes of five Marines: three USA Marines and their wives and two Vietnamese Marines to whom the US Marines acted as advisors.”
It is difficult to admit one’s mistakes. It is beyond anyone’s power to change misreporting, but the goal of Ride The Thunder team is to change the way the world remembers the Vietnam War. With their motto “Getting history right,” they shine a light of truth on the War.
“You cannot overstate how evil communism is and the Vietnam War, which tried to stop the advance of communism, was the right action to take,” Richard told me. I could not have agreed with Richard more while I was looking around and seeing the people who are involved with this project. Among them are many Vietnamese who escaped communist Vietnam and are living as happy, free Americans.
Losing Will to Fight for American Freedom
The Vietnam War may have drained the American people of their will to help others fight evil, fight for their freedom. However, we must admit that the American war efforts in Vietnam brought about enough time for the rest of Asia to develop free markets and democratic governments.
The book was made into a movie carrying the same name, (http://www.ridethethundermovie.com/), directed by Fred Koster and produced on a wing and a prayer. It is now gaining traction worldwide.
I did not live in the United States while America was fighting in Vietnam. For me it was an incomplete puzzle as to why there is such disdain for this war among Americans.
Now I know.
It is the media’s lies and government’s misinformation that turned the American people against a war that was worthwhile fighting, against the soldiers who were sent to fight it, as part of their duty to country. I am now wiser on the Vietnam War subject. I suggest everyone reads the book and/or goes to see the movie Ride The Thunder.
Get your own slice of wisdom.