Norman Schwarzkopf: The first time I came home from the war I was confused because I had been so intensely involved in this thing called a war, and I came back to the United States, and it was like it wasn’t going on. This was 1966. The only families who were involved in the war were people who had loved ones over there. Nobody else seemed to much even know or care that the war was going on. When I came back in 1970 it was different because now we were being blamed for the war. The military, who were just doing their duty. Draftees, I mean kids that had been drafted in the military and sent to war, when they came back home were being blamed by the American people for the war. That’s intolerable. I mean, that’s terrible.
But a maturation process came about in the American people. In the Gulf War you didn’t run into that. I think they finally recognized that the members of the armed services are people who are just doing their duty because their country asked them to. They’re not the ones who caused the war itself. We got letters in the Gulf from people who would say, “I may not agree with the decisions that put you there, but now that you’re there, I’m supporting you. You’ve got my support.” I can’t tell you how many thousands of Vietnam veterans I’ve run into who threw their arms around me and just said, “Thank you, General, you made it all right. You vindicated us.” It’s amazing, but somehow, so many of them feel that they won in the Gulf War. That’s good stuff.