The Jewish Advocate: “You can’t blame the soldiers for fighting in a war”; Exactly three decades since the end of the Vietnam war, veterans reflect on the views of Boston’s Jewish community towards the conflict and its 30-year legacy

Originally published in The Jewish Advocate.

At the 30th anniversary of the end of one of the most painful periods in American military history, one veteran is working hard to ensure that today’s soldiers won’t have to endure what he went through. Attorney Harvey Weiner served in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970, and the memories or returning home to a hostile public are still fresh. “Coming back was an extremely negative experience for myself and for almost all other Vietnam veterans. The reaction of most of us was to just hunker down and forget about it, put it behind us, and not talk about it at all.”

The events of September 11, 2001 changed that attitude for Weiner, who feared that an unpopular war might follow. Weiner worried that soldiers today would once again face demonstrators who made no distinction between the war they opposed and the soldiers who fought in it. His solution was to get involved with the Jewish War Veterans.  Continue reading