I'll add my .02 - as a ground pounder in the war I never thought of the Viet Cong, or the NVA, as anything but fine troops. They were respected by us as folks not to be taken lightly. We called them Mister Charles.
The song doesn't open any old wounds for me. I struggled with the "dishonored dead" part though. It's always odd though to see how others perceived the struggle and acknowledged the other side. Many of my old unit have returned to Viet Nam and say that the warriors we encountered are just like us now. Some have forgiven, some are still angry, and some are dead in the same way we have passed since the war. By and large the Vietnamese have welcomed us back.
As one who fought in the war and then fought against the war I've always felt like I was a person divided. And still do in some ways when I encounter veterans continuing to struggle with racism, bitterness at our coming home, and the tragic memories of our times over there.
In some ways this country is still very much divided over the war. I would cite the example of Senator Kerry's service and President Bush's service. It brought a lot of ugly back out and I suspect that division will haunt our generation to our graves.
Bottom line I am proud of my service to my country. On both sides of the war. Was I always honorable over there? No. Was I always right? No. And do I continue the struggle? Yes. I don't think I could sing the song but certainly understand its intent. Thanks for posting it Wolfgang - we need to see other views and accept them as such. Doesn't make it right or wrong - just another view.