Ivan Star Comes Out: All the real heroes I know died in the Vietnam War

Ivan F. Star Comes Out. Photo from Native Sun News

The only heroes I know are dead
By Ivan F. Star Comes Out

I have been experiencing an event that always leaves me emotionally disheveled.

The most recent occurred in Rapid City on a Friday night (2-5-16) at a convenience store where my family and I stopped to get refreshments for the long ride home. A lone white male person, unknown to me, approached me and thanked me for my service and shook my hand.

The first time this happened was during an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in Canton, S.D. about 10 years ago. When the participants learned I was in the war in Vietnam, they applauded me for it. My reaction was the same then as it is now. I know they meant well and I appreciate that but the experience was extremely awkward. I felt as if I didn’t deserve their praise.

Such acts contrast sharply with my experience upon returning home from the war in late 1969. I and my group were actually spit at and called disparaging names by some of those war protestors I had heard so much of. It was absolutely not what I had expected. Upon arriving at the Regional Airport, I wanted to be left alone and stayed there all day. My emotions were vacillating from happy to extreme guilt.

Read the rest of the story on the all new Native Sun News website: The only heroes I know are dead

(Ivan F. Star Comes Out, POB 147, Oglala. SD 57764, (605) 867-2448, mato_nasula2@outlook.com)

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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