11/21/2017 (Tue) 20:14:45
I didn't wrote public opinion. Maybe more than 50% of the American citizens weren't against the soldiers but they didn't give their support either and the vocal minority, the protesters were very hostile. The fact is the returning soldiers met enmity, misunderstanding and lack of care. They even got their monuments 20 years late. Veteran associations formed also about 20 years late. Grossman devotes a whole chapter for this topic.
I'm gonna pull another book out: Guerrillas in the mist
by Bob Newman. He says that the US did not lose on the battlefields in Vietnam but at home on the Main Street. The public opinion was exploited by Ho Chi Minh and Giap and turned against the war.
Let me pull another book: 10,000 days of thunder
by Philip Caputo. He says: When the Vietnam War ended, a collective amnesia seemed to grip the American people. Not only did they want to forget the war, they wanted to have nothing to do with the men and women who fought in it. [...] And Vietnam veterans who had been discharged discovered that they were now social outcasts. Sensational news reports about criminal acts committed by veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome even made getting a job difficult.
Another one: The Columbia Guide to the Vietnam War
by David L. Anderson. ''the fact remains that military
veterans of the Vietnam War often experienced social alienation. [...] The American warriors had no victory parades, and, in fact, they returned to a country that seemed pointedly disinterested in them and what they had experienced. Even worse, some citizens blamed them alone for what was, in truth, a shared national debacle. [...] There was a lot of bitterness in the men and women (primarily military nurses) who had been through a difficult ordeal and now felt rejected and unappreciated by other Americans.''
Another: The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of The Vietnam War
by Jeff T. Hay. However, the Vietnam veterans’ postwar experience was significantly different from that of veterans of previous wars. Many complained of the unsympathetic welcome they received and a lack of recognition and thanks for their service. Public opinion over the war was bitterly divided, and many opponents and protesters of the war focused their criticism and even contempt on returning veterans.