What Does ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ have to do with the Vietnam War?

“There are no extraordinary men… just extraordinary circumstances that ordinary men are forced to deal with.” – William Frederick Halsey Jr., fleet admiral in the United States Navy during World War II.

I went to see the latest Spider-Man film titled “No Way Home.” After thinking about it I began to connect with and embrace what the fictional character Peter Parker went through and what I went through upon returning home from Vietnam in December, 1968.

You see, I, and my Vietnam brotherhood of veterans, like Spider-Man had no way home.

It’s ironic that I watched this film exactly 53 years after my flying home from Vietnam back to my wife and family in St. Louis, Missouri.

It’s also ironic that the sub-title of the film is No Way Home.

You see my fellow Vietnam veterans, my brothers in arms, like Peter Parker, were ostracized upon our return home. We were called baby killers, spat upon and canceled by our nation. We were even shunned by WWII and Korean War veterans as unworthy. That is why we had to create our own veterans organizations like the Vietnam Brotherhood.

As Peter Parker was demonized by the media so too were we Vietnam veterans. Just as Spider-Man was attacked for fighting evil on the streets of New York City, so too were we attacked for fighting the evils of Communism in the streets of Hue and Saigon, and in the rice patties and the jungles of South Vietnam.

Today a Vietnam veteran greets a fellow Vietnam veteran with the phrase “welcome home brother.” Why? Because we weren’t welcomed home by our fellow countrymen and women. Even our government turned against us.

To this day the names of Jane Fonda and John Kerry will live in infamy to those who served in Vietnam. “Hanoi” Jane and Kerry colluded with the communist regime, which allowed South Vietnam to fall to our communist enemies.

It seems we are seeing the same thing happening today with North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Iran.

To this day I know that our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines won the Vietnam war on the ground.

Where we lost the Vietnam war was on the streets of America and in the halls of the U.S. Congress.

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

It’s ironic that the film depicts past actors who played Spider-Man in previous films fighting together against their common enemies who have returned from the past.

You see we Vietnam veterans fought against the Communist North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong. They have now returned to Washington, D.C. not as Vietnam War protestors but as elected political leaders bent on fundamentally changing the United States of America into the Communist States of America. We all now once again have a common enemy and its name is Marxism.

I never thought, like Peter Parker, that I was doing something wrong by fighting the evils of Communism. But I, like Peter Parker, was pushed, pushed aside by my fellow Americans for serving in perhaps the greatest cause possible – the defence of the U.S. Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

The famous phrase first spoken in the original Spider-Man was restated in Spider-Man: No Way Home, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Unfortunately, today’s political leaders do not take responsibility for their own actions but they are demanding more and more power. Ironic to say the least?

In the film Peter Parker, with the aid of Dr. Strange, erases all memories of Spider-Man.

We Vietnam veterans cannot erase all the negative memories of those who protested against the war and against our participation in that great crusade against Communism in Southeast Asia. A crusade that was started by President Eisenhower, expanded by President Kennedy and further expanded by President Johnson.

What we, unlike Peter Parker, can do is remember why we fought and how we won the war in Vietnam but lost the war on the streets of Washington, D.C. and in the halls of Congress. I will never forgive nor forget how our elected leaders abandoned our South Vietnamese brothers and sisters who fought shoulder-to-shoulder with us.

In August I sadly watched as we left our citizens behind in Afghanistan after the collapse of Kabul.

History really does repeat itself. The collapse of Saigon in 1974 looks eerily like the collapse of Kabul in 2021.

It is also ironic that there are three Spider-Men in the film “No Way Home” which mirrors the three Vietnam soldiers in a statue titled The Three Servicemen, by Frederick Hart, located near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The Bottom Line

I served in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division as a field artillery forward observer with A Company, 2nd Battalion, 501st Airborne. I was there from December 1967 to December 1968. I was there for the 1968 Tet Offensive.

I, and my brothers in arms, served with honor at the behest of our nation. The majority of those who served in Vietnam, like me, volunteered to fight against the communist incursion.

A good friend sent me the video below, a tribute to our Vietnam veterans narrated by Mr. Sam Elliot. The video tells only part of the story.

The story that I know is that the media was against the war and supported our enemies. They printed everything bad they could find, some true,  but most were lies. I personally witnessed a civilian war correspondent demanding to get on a medevac helicopter to report on a story about how our unit suffered casualties from a friendly fire incident. The helicopter was sent to evacuate the severely wounded. The embedded correspondent wanted to take the place of one of our wounded so he could file his story. The company commander had a different view point. While his story did get filed we saved our wounded first and foremost.

This was the first time in U.S. history that the media began using “fake news” to bring about the defeat of U.S. wartime policy in a foreign land.

It began when Walter Cronkite visited Vietnam during the 1968 Tet Offensive and upon his return to the United States declared on CBS Evening News that the Vietnam war was “unwinnable.’

Never forget the lessons of cancelling an entire generation of American soldiers.

Just like all the criminals that Spider-Man fought against were brought back to the present day. So to have those, like the ghosts of Ho Chi Min, Stalin and Mao, who wished to turn American into a Communist regime returned but this time to Washington, D.C. in 2021.

Sad but true.

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

1 reply
  1. Royal A Brown III
    Royal A Brown III says:

    Rich – “Welcome Home Brother” – great article ! We were truly not welcomed home after performing out duty and stopping the rapid flow of Communism in the far East.

    We have politicians and Marxist leftists in the US especially the Democrats in Congress in 1975 to thank for not coming to the defense of S. Vietnam when the deceptive N. Vietnamese Communists waited 3 years after last US units pulled out to invade and conquer S. Vietnam. They violated a trusted agreement with the S. Vietnamese govt. and dishonored the 58,000 of our brothers in arms who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

    As you said, we who served honorably did not lose this long war – the politicians and ignorant public who believed their lies and continued to protest did.Walter Cronkite was a lying traitor and purveyor of fake news.

    I was glad to go home in June 1972 when the last two US combat Brigades stood down and were sent back home BUT would gladly have gone back to stop the Communists from violating the peace agreements and taking over the South 3 years later..

    We should have learned this lesson in history but the Obama 3 Admin and their puppet Beijing Joe Biden ignored it by abandoning Afghanistan to the evil Islamic Jihad and providing them 90 B in new US equipment and over 200M in cash which they will use against the US and the rest of Western Civilization.


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