While my father did everything he could to inculcate me with the prejudices of our kind, Corporal Louis did everything he could to avoid being a victim of bigotry. He is an American Marine of Chinese descent who served in Vietnam approximately the same time I was there – 1967 to 1968. He experienced prejudices from the very moment he donned the uniform and had to prove himself many times. Although such prejudice is no longer welcome in polite society and has no legal standing, it can never be totally excised, even by act of Congress. Unfortunately, prejudice and ignorance are inextricably bound together.
All men are equal in the foxhole where bullets and bayonets snatch lives indiscriminately and artillery rattles every soul. However, until a man experiences combat, he may cling to the prejudices that he brings to war with him. Even then, bigotry may be so deeply embedded that he cannot free himself of it.