Coming Home to a World
Of Patriots and Protestors
By John F. Lohr

I had a younger brother who was in college while I was in Vietnam. He was far from a hippy, but did walk picket lines opposed to the war and waved signs. Now, I have to tell you, my brother actually dressed up in a suit, had and still has short hair, and was very respectful in his demonstration activities. When I found out about my brothers activities I wrote him and explained that he was aiding and abetting the enemy. He responded that even if that was the case, he felt so strongly that we should not be there that he was going to express his dismay in a civil way. He thought he was doing the right thing in a civil disobedience manner.

Today, my brother is a doctor at the Mayo Clinic and I am very proud of him. He is a conservative husband and father. He is really a great guy, but you know what, I have never gotten over that lapse of common sense on his part. I often wonder what he would have thought if he had been walking in my moccasins.

On the other hand, on my return home, when I arrived in Omaha, my mother was waiting at the foot of the stairs coming off the plane with a red carpet she had rolled out (with airport personnel help) and my father was waving an American flag with tears streaming down his face. A few weeks later at a meeting I attended as my fathers guest in Boston, it was announced from the podium that the representative from Nebraska had as his guest his son who had just returned from Vietnam. There was an immediate and spontaneous standing ovation by 500 plus people from all over the country.

I do not recall ever being given a bad time for having served in Vietnam. But, I still have this nagging irritation about my brother doing what he did.

John F. Lohr