SOUTH BEND — Former mayor Joe Kernan was held a prisoner of war in Vietnam for 11 months. Nearly 38 years later, he's visiting the site. Like Vietnam, the Iraq war has been controversial. Some support it, others are against it, but sentiment against the war has not come down on those troops serving. Scenes of joyous celebration are what we now expect to see when soldiers return home. These are not the scenes many soldiers returning from Vietnam witnessed. The decision to send Americans thousands of miles away to fight communism in Southeast Asia led to one of the most turbulent times in American history. The protests were aimed at American policy makers in Washington, but often times, U.S. military members felt the scorn. "You just mention Vietnam and it just brings so many emotions to the surface both good and bad," said Maggie Kernan. "I think Vietnam was a great lesson for us — that while people may disagree with the public policy decisions, that for our men and women in uniform our support is unanimous," said Joe Kernan. That support seemed to be there at first. Fighting communism was viewed an admirable cause. President Kennedy's military advisors grew to troops under Lyndon Johnson, following the now disputed Gulf of Tonkin incident. Anger grew when blood shed increased. With no end in sight, some wondered what we were fighting for. "It's young people who go into the war, with the old ideals. America's the good guy. America is on the right side. We're the ones who won World War I, won World War II, we saved the world's bacon. When that generation begins to say whoa, wait a minute," said Saint Mary's College professor Bill Svelmoe. Richard Nixon won the election following Lyndon Johnson's decision not to run. The war went on into Nixon's second term. Those who were putting their lives on the line, people like life long South Bend resident Rick Winceck did not return home to a hero's welcome. "I'm not the poor, whiny Vietnam veteran, kind of guy. I believe everybody has the right to voice their opinion," he said. But voicing an opinion often went too far. Stinging criticism that could come from one's own family. "I had a very close individual in my family that called me a baby killer," Winceck said.