Vietnam War – that’s one big ass snake!!

Here he is with his mom before shipping out. He eventually became a world champion ping pong player and owner of one of America’s most successful seafood companies.

Okay, so Forrest Gump , but his time spent in the jungle is one of the most touching and accurate depictions of what American troops fced while fighting the war. While there are definitely more intense movies about the Vietnam War, Forrest Gump was the first film that brought the plight of the American soldier to mass audiences.

The film doesn’t just show the horrific conditions that every soldier faced, it also shows the bonding process that took place for many of the men fighting over seas. Despite their differences Forrest, Bubba, and Lt. Dan raya sign in are bonded in battle and thus bonded for life.

The Viet Cong. Jungle Warfare. Traps laid out at every conceivable step – all childsplay compared to the big ass snakes that populated the . While you can prepare soldiers to take bullets and avoid RPGs, it’s an entirely different thing to prepare them for a run in with a snake that’s as long as a living room floor, if not longer.

Many soldiers had to go on a kind of snake detail in order to make sure their bases were free of giant carnivorous snakes, which must have been a delight to the ophiophobes in the military.

Nancy Sinatra with 1st Infantry US Army, Vietnam, 1967.

Bang bang, this baby wasn’t shot down during her first USO tour in 1967, and thank goodness because that would have been a national tragedy. In February 1967 Sinatra made her first trip to visit troops in Vietnam where she performed hits like “These Boots Were Made For Walkin’” for the entertainment deprived troops overseas in between meet and greets.

Sinatra said that she wanted to entertain the troops because everyone she knew had been touched by the way in one way or another. She explained:

All of the people in my generation were involved in one way or another with the Viet Nam war. They were enlisting, drafted, escaping to another country or a marriage and children they didn’t really want. I knew I had to do something so I called the USO and volunteered to go and entertain the troops. When you are in a war zone the people around you become your brothers and sisters. They were then, are now and will always be a huge part of my life.

US soldiers in Vietnam hear the radio report that they’re going home -1975.

erican troops stationed in Vietnam. Not only did President Ford war, but he told US troops overseas that they were coming home. During a speech at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana President Ford said that the war in Vietnam “is finished as far as America is concerned” and soldiers began pulling out.

As Saigon collapsed US soldiers were airlifted out in droves, and at the time Newsweek reported that “no more than 1,100 Americans remained” in the area by the weekend following the speech.

Vietnam War protester holding a sign, 1970.

As the Vietnam war raged throughout the 1960s and into the ‘70s the public attitude towards the war shifted from disapproval to downright depression.

By 1970 it was clear that American forces weren’t ready for the intense, on the ground warfare of Vietnam, and the news of napalm bombs became common place, along with the news that entire villages were destroyed in the process.

Reflection Pool, Washington, D.C. War protesters in DC, May 1970.

On July 4, 1970 there was a confluence of protests on the National Mall in Washington D.C. called Honor America Day. This was meant to be a huge blow out of fun and entertainment for people of all races, colors, and ideologies. However, it also took place in the middle of the Vietnam War, when tensions in America were at their most thin.