The Official Voice of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. ®
An organization chartered by the U.S. Congress

December 2002

I Read The News Today


As I sat with my morning cup of coffee, I pondered the news in the paper. On the front page I read a story about a young man killed in a car accident. His 14-year-old passenger was in critical condition.  The police say the car was going in excess of one hundred miles an hour.  The engine slid an extra hundred feet from the car after it hit a tree, and the windshield was lodged in another tree.  The driver, 19 years old, died instantly.  They were both drunk, and another controlled substance was found in the car.   

Page two: Woman says two men who kidnaped and robbed her at gunpoint drove her to her home and robbed her of $1,500 worth of jewelry. The two young men are suspected gang members. On the same page, two men and a 16-year-old were arrested on charges of possessing a stolen car. They were charged with receiving stolen property, possession of heroin and cocaine, and possession of drug paraphernalia.  

Page three: Two towns away, the residents of a small town jammed the police department with calls from jittery residents. It seems a 30-year-old woman was stabbed three times in the chest in her apartment. The police are looking for a suspect described as being in his late teens to early twenties wearing blue jeans, a long sleeve shirt, and a blue bandana covering his face.   

Sounds like a gang-related crime to me, but we don't have gangs in our area.  These incidents happened to "other people'' and would never happen to me.  I keep to myself. I leave work before it gets dark and drive only on well-lit streets.  They must have done something to provoke the trouble.  

This is the typical response to articles in the daily newspapers.  By the time I finish my coffee, I have probably only gotten to page five.  I usually read about three or four drug-related crimes, one or two stabbings or a shooting, three robberies, and a murder. This is a sad state of affairs.  I know we can't change the world.  But if we just sit and not help our communities fight back against the violence and the drugs, sooner or later we may not be here to enjoy that cup of coffee. Join the growing number of VVA and AVVA members around the country who are getting involved in their communities.  You can make a difference.


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