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january/february 2007

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Letters

DE NADA

Thank you for the review of Vietnam Nurses in the November/December issue. The program was the second highest rated premiere special in the history of WE tv. So not only was it a critical success, it was a ratings success. Thank you for adding the website for ordering the DVD since there is a large audience out there who wants to see it and missed the cable airing. Also, a part of the proceeds will benefit the Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation.

Diane Carlson Evans
Washington, D.C.

FORGET THE PAST?

In regard to the letter by Gregory Smith in the November/December issue: I disagree completely, forcefully, and loudly. We must always be aware of the likes of Ho Chi Minh and Chairman Mao among the world community. The more we know about their—and our—past, the better prepared our country will be. This view does not count politicians, since many of them are willing to sell their souls to stay in office, as evidenced by the Iraq War.

As a Vietnam veteran, I feel that the lessons from that war must have been lost because there are so many similarities of intent, escalation, and probable outcome. It’s always amazing to me that politicians and world leaders attempt to re-invent the wheel, expecting a different outcome. Keep the history lessons coming. I’m using them to educate my grandchildren.

John Grogg
Via e-mail

THE CHINA QUESTION

This is written in response to your excellent article on the Chinese role in the Vietnam War in the September/October issue. At that time we were told, among other things, that we had to fight them there or else we would be fighting them here. We were told again and again that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. In essence, we had to stay and die for the good of our country.

China was among those responsible for the deaths of over 58,000 of my brothers. And now the current administration and those before are handing our economy, our technology, and our futures over to the still-communist, atheist Chinese government. Will we, in one generation, see our former enemies as valued trade partners, like the Chinese, who use virtual slave labor to further undermine our economy?

I urge you, for the sake of our deceased heroes, from both Vietnam and Iraq, not to surrender to the propaganda of those who care nothing for the American people, but only for further enriching their already obscene estates.
By the way, I would serve voluntarily again, as I did almost 40 years ago, because my brothers and sisters deserve my support. In that, I am unlike the current leaders of our country with a few notable exceptions who, when our nation called, said no.

Bob Branton
Barnwell, South Carolina

LET US FORGIVE

Diane Carlson Evans should be given a medal for being such a forgiving person. I was so proud of her statement concerning Dusty (Dana Shuster) on her being a fraud, giving her compassion. If only the world could be a quarter that nice. I hope the veterans community will see it the same way.
How did we get treated when our time was up in Vietnam? Really badly. It made us bitter. So, after all these years, I hope we have learned something: be compassionate and forgiving. I say, “Don’t condemn, forgive.” It has taken me many years to do this completely.

C.H. Boss, Jr.
Via e-mail

WORD CHOICE

Regarding the President’s Message in the September/October issue of The VVA Veteran, I think President John Rowan’s title, “Summer Camp,” was a poor choice of words. And I’m not the only one to question his words.

Calling a very important part of VVA’s training program “summer camp” is very misleading for those who have not been to a VVA Leadership Conference. We are not a bunch of Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts at a camping trip. Nothing against either group.

I have nothing against Mr. Rowan as president. I think he has done a good job so far this year. His message was very informative. I read it every time The VVA Veteran comes in the mail.

Larry B. Jury
Frederick, Maryland

DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY

Reading the September/October issue, one might come to the conclusion that the media may have been right all along. The tone of the entire issue lends credence to the image of whiners, losers, and baby killers that the media have always portrayed us to be.

A celebration of Doonesbury and Oliver Stone in a veterans’ publication? Only to be followed by a letter to the editor from a felon complaining that his incarceration was due to PTSD, not just his own, but he must have been genetically predisposed since his father, a Vietnam veteran, suffered from PTSD as well. And if that wasn’t enough, there was an incredible plea to extend Agent Orange benefits to men who were never in country. Each frivolous Agent Orange claim hurts those few veterans who may have been actually afflicted.

But the hardest to take was reporting on the Keynote Speech at the Leadership Conference. A Medal of Honor recipient is passionately calling for the harassment of legislators for more and greater, if unspecified, benefits. He relates an incident when he was in China recently and asserts that his president “lied” about the Iraq conflict. A Medal of Honor recipient has earned the right to think and say whatever he believes, and certainly each of us has varied opinions as to the wisdom of current military actions. But he ain’t no Dixie Chick. The man was Infantry and a company commander at that. He knows that you may have whatever opinion you want, but don’t say those kinds of things on foreign soil while a conflict is in progress.

Vietnam veterans should quit blaming the government for everything that doesn’t go right in their lives. It is beyond time for a major attitude adjustment. If you want to be a victim, get yourself on Oprah. If you want to be a veteran, follow the example of World War II and Korean War veterans, and stand proudly for duty, honor, and country.

L.R. Harvey
Davenport, Iowa

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