(Washington, D.C.) – “As
Vietnam veterans, we are painfully aware of the impact of antiwar
campaigns,” Thomas H. Corey, President of Vietnam Veterans of America said
today. “Many Vietnam veterans suffered as a result of the misdirected anger
displayed by those at home against the Vietnam War.
“More than anyone veterans know that
their duty and service help to insure the freedom to express contrary
opinions,” Corey said. “Freedom of speech and the right to oppose our
government and its policies distinguish us from the rest of the world.”
Corey was responding to inquiries about
the impact of antiwar activities on our military forces engaged in the war
“While we recognize the fundamental
right to protest, we must realize that soldiers in the field have a
difficult time distinguishing between protest against policy and protest
against the warrior. Our armed forces have no influence on policy,” Corey
said. “As veterans we support the right to disagree with our government.
That is what we fought for. But we cannot forget that these demonstrations
against policy have an effect on the warrior. Our men and women in uniform
follow orders produced by our elected leaders.
“We must understand that we cannot – and
must not – confuse opposition to war with hostility to our brothers,
sisters, sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers who proudly wear the uniform
of our armed forces. We ask the American public to join us in a confirmation
of our solid and unwavering commitment to them and the sacrifices they are
making in response to duty.
“Vietnam Veterans of America was formed
on the founding principle that ‘Never Again Will One Generation of Veterans
Abandon Another.’ Our obligation as citizens first and veterans second is to
remind our nation to support the men and women in uniform, whether they be
engaged in combat in Iraq, patrolling the DMZ in Korea, processing soldiers
pay in Indiana, or training in Oklahoma.
“May God bless them, and our nation,”