CHICAGO – The way Terry Neilen sees it, lifting the ban on U.S. arms sales to Vietnam makes sense in the face of China’s growing influence in the region. Fellow Vietnam veteran Ned Foote said Americans long ago forgave Germany and Japan for World War II, so there’s no reason not to do the same with Vietnam.
“We’re actually acting as a team in a sense,” said Neilen, of Saratoga Springs, New York, who served in the Army infantry in Vietnam in in 1967 and 1968. “They’re joining together to give a show of strength.”
Foote, who heads the New York State Council of Vietnam Veterans of America, noted that the Vietnamese have helped account for missing American service members.
President Barack Obama’s decision to lift the half-century-old arms embargo was seen Monday by many veterans as a logical outgrowth of efforts to normalize relations between the U.S. and the southeast Asian nation that has become a major trading partner since the war ended in 1975.