United a returning Vietnam War veteran, describing a

United States combat troops set foot on Vietnam soil in 1965, deploying 3,500 troops in order to defend the Air Base stationed at China Beach in Nang Da. This event marked the beginning of the Vietnam War for America, which for many years would continue to influence American popular culture, with music being the most polarizing recipient. Different clothing designs became more popular after the Vietnam War; most notably camouflage becoming mainstream. Directly corresponding with the increase in wartime within Vietnam and deployment of U.S troops in Vietnam, music (mainly rock) began to take a more vocal approach to the worlds problems, such as unnecessary war or large drafts performed by the U.S. 1969 and 1971 were two landmark years that would help define culture for the next few years, due to the release of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s song “Fortunate Son” in 1969, as well as Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” in 1971, where Gaye tells a story through the perspective of a returning Vietnam War veteran, describing a scene of unjust and suffrage. Both of these music pieces greatly question why the Vietnam War was even happening, quite obviously with Gaye’s album title of “What’s Going On”. American citizens began to question whether their draft notices were serving any purpose other than to “fight a Rich Man’s war” resulting in many famous musicians to voice their outcry and bring even more attention to the matter. Because of all the music questioning the validity of the war that was being played through radios, the U.S troops began to feel as though the war effort was pointless.Beginning in 1965, the United States deployed 3,500 boots on the ground troops into Nang Da, in an effort to defend a military air base. In the following weeks, the United States would continue to deploy more and more soldiers into Vietnam, reaching 543,482 concurrent soldiers being actively deployed in 1968. The goal of the United States was to prevent a communist takeover within Southern Vietnam, being that the United States strongly opposed any spread of communism. During these years, the United States would provide military aid to the allied forces fighting alongside the Americans, which included the South Vietnamese Army. From 1965 to 1968, the United States conducted an operation known as “Operation Rolling Thunder” following through with multiple aerial bombings over the communist territory in North Vietnam, attempting to fear monger the North Vietnamese into ceasing support of the communist ideology without actually invading the territory using boots on the ground soldiers. Although the method sounded good in theory, it resulted in a catastrophic failure when none of the Northern Vietnamese began to cease support of the communists, and because of the help from the Soviet Union, North Vietnam had developed a surface-to-air defense system, resulting in hundreds of American planes being shot down. As a result of the planes being shot down, the large majority of ALL prisoners of war during Vietnam were due to them being captured after being shot down.By 1967 a large majority of United States citizens opposed the involvement in the war. Some opted for protests, while some voiced their concern through music or fashion. In the music world, many artists had already begun voicing their opposition to the involvement of the war through questions meant for the listener to answer, such as The Byrds’ “Draft Morning” song from 1968 in which they sing “Today was the day for action, leave my bed to kill instead, why should it happen?”. Or through a factual reality that artists construed through the soldiers perspective, such as The Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” from 1969, in which they say “Ooh, a storm is threatening my very life today”, referring to the storm of war, or gunfire / explosions that soldiers endured often in active combat. These songs went on to perform very well commercially and were heard by a very large audience, cementing the opposition to the Vietnam War in the minds of listeners.┬áThe fashion world began to welcome in a new trend in 1971 when the very popular magazine publication known as Vogue released a collage of women wearing camouflage and “tactical gear”, which brought camouflage clothing into the public eye. Throughout the 70’s, camouflage began to infiltrate the hunting community within the United States, with camouflage outfits becoming very popular within that community as they were effective when hunting. Throughout the years camouflage slowly trickled into the consumer fashion world, and towards the end of the 70’s camouflage garments were quite popular.Between the 2 people I interviewed, Mark K. and Cynthia S., I asked them both similar questions regarding the change in music direction during this period. Mark specifically said that “rock music took up a self aware quality” that he didn’t notice before in the years prior to the U.S involvement in the Vietnam War. Mark also said that “relatives of people who were drafted in the effort were often depressed because of the pointless view of the Vietnam conflict” and that the war seemed “senseless” to him from the start. Cynthia S. didn’t have much to say on anything actually relating to conflict as she “didn’t pay much attention to it”, but she did say that she “enjoyed the music that was being release because of the war”, more specifically Jimi Hendrix’s song “Machine Gun”, as well as the offerings from Marvin Gaye.Through my research and the interviews I conducted with Mark and Cynthia, I determined that there was sufficient evidence to see that music definitely took a more self aware route and began to question the thought behind war in Vietnam. The only real fashion change that came from the Vietnam war was the popularity in camouflage clothing becoming the norm for hunters, being welcomed into consumer clothing, and popularized within the high end fashion community (Supreme & A Bathing Ape use camouflage on some of their more expensive pieces). The Vietnam War was fought for another country, in another country, for another country’s freedom. Although it seemed like there were good intentions at first glance, pop culture, music, and fashion began to question the validity of those reasons and through years of outcry from the public and protesting from U.S citizens, in January 1973 President Reagan announced the suspension of all active duty and combat offensive strategies against┬áNorth Vietnam, and all of the troops were to be removed from the territory in exchange for prisoners of war, effective immediately.