When many veterans came home from their service in Vietnam, they were treated badly compared to when World War II veterans came home. 

We had Vietnam veteran Robert Locklin come to our school. He told us that when he came home, soldiers were told not to wear uniforms and people were throwing eggs and trash at the vehicles they were riding in. Yet, when World War II veterans came home, they were treated with respect, with people saying, “Thank you for your service.” This made them feel like they had fought in Vietnam for nothing, without any appreciation for sacrificing their lives. 

Recently, we had a World War II veteran come to Messalonskee Middle School to tell us about his experiences in war. He let a German soldier with nearly half of his nose gone go home after the war was over. These stories made me feel good and lucky for him that he’s still here.

In comparison, Robert Locklin’s experiences that he told us were a bit scarier, like when he was shot in between where the helmet separates into two different pieces. Finally, while Robert was walking through the woods, his really good friend in front of him got shot in the arm. While they were shooting at the enemy later, his friend couldn’t do much and he ended up dying. This made me feel both lucky and sad for Mr. Locklin because his best friend died in his arms, though he survived being shot. 

These stories should make us all realize what perfect strangers do to protect our rights and freedoms in this country.

Hunter Hallee

Grade 8 

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