Vietnam Veterans: Turning the Tide in the War Against Islamic Radicalism. They come wearing motorcycle leather and business suits. They sport crew cuts and ponytails, some wearing long un-trimmed beards, others clean shaven. They park their Harley’s, Gold Wings, and three wheelers in rows flying the Stars and Strips and the black POW/MIA flags. Many bear scars and tattoos commemorating their service in Vietnam. They often come to stand guard over the memorial bearing the names of their comrades who fell during the long years of their generation’s war to prevent the anti-war protesters of today’s struggle from defacing it, again. Upon meeting veterans of the current war against Radical Islam, many of whom are young enough to be their grandsons, they wrap them in bear hugs and say “Welcome Home, Brother.” They are now the older brothers of our Brotherhood of Arms. These are the men who so many of my generation looked up to as the heroes who were betrayed. They fought an unpopular and ugly war that did have a purpose in the world wide struggle against communism, against an enemy who remained faceless in the jungles of a far off land. But that purpose is so often hidden or disregarded in the movies, history books, and writings since. They bear the unseen scars of coming home from their war only to be welcomed in San Francisco and New York and many college campuses with protests and taunts of “Baby Killer!” and “Murderer.” The anger of having one of the most famous starlets of their generation go to the home of the enemy they were fighting and provide aid and encouragement to that enemy runs deep. The hurt of having one who stood among their ranks for a short period of time, sit before the Congressional Committees and lie about atrocities they did not commit, be rewarded with election to the United States Congress and Senate and a run for the highest office of this land, runs deeper. The fruits of their spilled blood, lost brethren, and military victories against the communists in the TET Offensive of 1968 (when they effectively destroyed the Viet Cong), the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) led Offensive in 1972 (when they destroyed the offensive capability of the NVA) were lost to the political defeats here at home which led to the fall of Saigon in 1975. The anti-war movement, combined with the fall out of the Watergate scandal led to the election of a strong anti-war Democratic majority in the House and Senate in 1974. Those majorities cut off all funding to the South Vietnamese government and prevented any reinforcement by American forces. The results were the footage of American Marines pushing back the last hopeful refugees atop the US Embassy building in Saigon as the last helicopter headed out to sea, the imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese in “re-education camps,” the flotillas of millions of “boat people,” and the murder of millions more in the killing fields of Cambodia. But once again, the real heroes of that generation are stepping up and are looking out for their little Brothers and Sisters who are fighting in a far off land. They know this enemy here at home and they are watching the backs of their younger siblings. They are not allowing this anti-war movement to go unanswered. They are stepping up to speak the truth about the self described “heroes” of their generation, and prevented one from becoming President. They are standing on street corners near Walter Reed, in West Chester, PA and Berkley, CA to counter Code Pink and other anti-war protesters. They form the core of groups like the Patriot Guard Riders, who ride in processions to welcome home the fallen and protect their families from the most despicable of anti-war protesters who show up at the funerals. The Free Republic “Freepers” stand vigil outside Walter Reed to cheer our Wounded Warriors on Friday nights to let them know the Code Pink protesters across the street do not speak for the people of this nation. The Gathering of Eagles organizes pro-troop counter protests to the anti-war protesters and stand toe to toe with them. Then there are the motorcycle clubs like the Rolling Thunder and the Nam Knights who stand vigil over the memorials to prevent further defacement and insults to their fallen brothers and sisters. And there are the USO volunteers who greet service men and women returning from overseas at airports across the country to let them know they are appreciated. Their war was lost to the betrayal of so-called peaceniks, who by design or default, played into the hands of the enemy and gave away victory. They will not allow the terrible results of such a betrayal to be visited on their younger Brothers and Sisters. So they come and they stand for them on the National Mall with Gold Star Parents and Spouses among their ranks, where our Soldiers in uniform cannot show up to face down the anarchists, socialists, and misguided angels of the “peace” movement. They welcome us home with cheers, hugs, goody-bags, and tears at Atlanta, Dallas, San Francisco, and Baltimore and so many other airports. They send letters and care packages to our Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen at sea and in hostile theaters. They fly the Stars and Stripes proudly and will not stand by idly to watch it burned. Finally, they pray for victory and safe return of the new generations of Warriors. The Veterans of Vietnam are ensuring the safety our nation and its soldiers in the current fight by not allowing this war to be lost at home. As the current generation fights to protect our nation from physical attack, the Vietnam Veterans are engaged in the struggle for our nation’s heart and soul, and they are turning the tide. Just as my older Brothers in Arms welcomed me and so many of my Brothers and Sisters of my generation home, I want to say to them as individuals and as a group: “Thank you for being home, Brother, and watching over me.” William T Russell William Russell is a veteran of the Operation Iraqi Freedom, Desert Storm, and the Pentagon on 9/11. He recently left Active Duty with the Army to run against John Murtha in Pennsylvania. www.williamrussellforcongress.com .