"I have run into people who don't support the president's views on Iraq or our objectives, but I haven't run into a single person who said (he or she) doesn't support the troops," said Jason Crawford, a Purple Heart recipient who was shot in the face by opposition forces in December 2003 while in Iraq. "I think our society learned from Vietnam that it's not the men and women who sacrifice their lives and signed on the dotted lines who make up the plans and objectives. I think pretty much everyone supports the troops."Among the overwhelming majority of Americans who support the right of protesters to openly voice their dissent with government policies is Army National Guard Sgt. Shelton Johnson who spent nearly a year in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 [emphasis added]
While many troops wish more Americans would support the war effort, some said it's heartening to know the folks back home wish them nothing but the best.
"They might not agree with (the war)," said Marine Corps Sgt. Ryan Bentele, 29, who returned from Iraq in May. "But they show us respect."
[snip]Army Reserves Lt. Col. Alice Bell, 46, who spent 10 months in Kuwait in support of the Iraq invasion, said she has heard nothing but praise since returning home.
"It's not like in Vietnam, when they spat on troops coming back," she said. "Some people don't agree with the mission itself. But even if they're against the war effort, they're for the troops. They realize we're doing what we have to do, what we've been ordered to do, whether we agree with it or not."
"As long as they're not defiant against the troops or the president, then I think it's actually healthy for our society and government," he said.