Soldiers deserve honor and respect

Published 5:46 pm Friday, June 29, 2018

It was hot.

Sweat was pouring out of my body, running down my face and skewing my vision.

During the hot summer months, when I walk the North Loop of the Vicksburg National Military Park, this is a normal occurrence.

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What I also do, during my walks, is wonder how in the world the soldiers who fought on this battlefield endured.

What had it been like for them to feel desperately tired and hot and thirsty, while looking eye to eye with the enemy?

I can only imagine how miserable they must have felt in their wool uniforms and what about the bugs and mosquitos that swarmed and hovered.

Then, I think of the sounds these men heard as other men lay dying on the battlefield and the sight of carnage.

War is evil and robs men from their wives and boys from their mothers.

It is also often declared by those who are older and in power, and it is those who have only begun their life that make the ultimate sacrifice.

I have often wondered, as many do, if those who sit in decision-making positions had to suit up and go to battle, would they work more diligently to find a peaceful solution?

This week, I had the privilege of interviewing two Vietnam veterans and listening to some of their stories. Both men were kind enough to share, but each in their own way, made it known that what they had lived through was something they did not like to revisit on a regular basis.

I was only eight during the height of the Vietnam War, too young to really grasp all that was going on and understand the complexities of the conflict; but because of this assignment, I now wanted to search out information and learn.

What I gleaned from my hunt was that like the wars before, so many Americans had lost their lives, but one thing about the Vietnam War, which was unlike any other, was the response these men and women received when they returned home from duty.

The political backlash from the war was taken out emotionally and physically on these soldiers, and they were disrespected.

How, as a nation, could we have let this happen?

If there was anyone that should have been disrespected, it should have been the administration.

Our leaders were the ones who made the call to go in and defend South Vietnam against communist invasion.

Soldiers are not the ones making these calls. Their jobs are to follow the orders of the commander in chief.

Perhaps, if those in power had let these skilled men and women who fought in the Vietnam War do what they had been trained to do, maybe there would have been a better ending with fewer American lives shattered and lost.

Wednesday is the Fourth of July and many across the country will fly the American flag, a symbol of our freedoms.

I pray that no matter what our political leanings may be, we as a nation will never again disrespect those who pay the ultimate sacrifice for us.

Terri Cowart Frazier is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. You may reach her at

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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