The Fourth of July is a very important day for me. It is the day that I returned from Vietnam after serving 12 months in-country with the U.S. Army during 1967-68. Historians tell us that these were some of the most tumultuous years in our history.

Upon my return to Salt Lake City, I would sometimes stand on a corner of 200 South and Main Street and watch the people go by. Downtown was very busy then, and there were lots of people to observe.

I often wondered if these Americans knew what was going on in Vietnam in their name, or even cared as they lived their lives in peace. I feel the same 50 years later when I experience the anguish caused by politicians, ongoing wars, corruption and hatred. Does anyone else care?

2018 is very much like 1968, but I am glad that I went to Vietnam. I learned that no matter how dark things get, the sun will shine again. So, I will drink a beer on the Fourth at the VFW Hall for my buddies who did not come home, and in the words of the immortal Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Keep on chooglin’.”

Luciano S. Martinez, Murray