Joe Kernan is still one of the classiest guys around. He had planned to go on a trade mission to Vietnam when he was lieutenant governor, but the trip fell through, and he says he's always wanted to go back to the country where he fought and was held as a prisoner of war for 11 months. Now a trip is on:
Tour stops will include the site where Kernan's plane was shot down and the preserved portion of the prison referred to by Americans held there, including Sen. John McCain, as the Hanoi Hilton.
What does Kernan expect his reaction to be as he walks into the portion of the prison now turned into a museum?
"Well, I don't know," he says. "It's been a long time."
[. . .]
But Kernan says he has no hatred toward the North Vietnamese for what happened at a time of war. He explains:
"If somebody from somewhere else parachuted down in this country after 33 planes were dropping bombs on their neighborhood, what kind of reception would they get?"
Sure, he adds, "I didn't like some of them I met along the way."
I know Vietnam vets who aren't as over the war as Kernan is, and some of them weren't even in combat, let alone a prison camp. Hell, I know World War II vets who still aren't over Japan.