CPM Alumnus and American Vet Reflects on Service in Vietnam and Afghanistan Ahead of Withdrawal Plan
In the darkness, memories of fighting in both Vietnam and Afghanistan blur into a single dream in the restless mind of Don Nicholas, DPM. Nicholas, who was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal, is a Class of 1986 graduate of the College of Podiatric Medicine (CPM), and a rarity in the U.S. military. In 1975, he served as a Marine guard at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon when the South Vietnamese capital fell. After leaving the Marines, Nicholas returned to Ohio, where he attended the then-Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine, graduating in 1986. Longing for the camaraderie of military life, however, Nicholas found himself patrolling the mountains of Afghanistan in 2004 as a U.S. Army foot soldier at the age of 52.
Today, Nicholas, 68 years old and residing in Green, Ohio, is confronted with another unsatisfying conclusion to his service and allies left behind. In a recent speech, President Biden announced his intentions to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan, a conclusion all too familiar to Nicholas, who reflects on President Nixon's withdraw of American combat forces out of Vietnam in 1973. "They'll say we accomplished great things," he said. "I say we accomplished nothing."
To read the full reflections of Don Nicholas, DPM and his comrades, visit https://www.wsj.com/articles/american-vets-see-echoes-of-vietnam-in-afghanistan-withdrawal-plan-11619446397#_=_