The elephant in the room no one seemed willing to recognize was the idea of moral damage. Asking bright, strong young men like Hunt to fight wars like Iraq and Afghanistan -- and Vietnam before that -- can be like luring an unsuspecting animal into a trap. The bait is the powerful call to do something good for your country, to sacrifice for a larger purpose. The trap, of course, is the fact wars like Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam are never what the drumbeat of homefront-oriented propaganda says they are.
For the Claude Rains character in Casablanca an expression of shock that there is gambling going on at Rick’s nightclub is an ironic joke on the French officer's corruption. But for some young Americans, the discovery that there is dissimulation in the corridors of power in Washington -- that the war he or she has been sent to sacrifice in is not what it was billed to be -- is a true shock to the moral system they may be unable to accommodate or escape.
~ from The Battle Still Rages Over What Vietnam Means by John Grant ~
A very moving piece!! I recommend you read the whole thing.