Thanks so much to The VVA
Veteran for the very special article and photos in the
March/April issue. We are an organization that was never
recognized since World War II. We were dormant until
veterans like you came along. We struggled to get what we
needed and never asked for anything. Thank you so very much
for all you have done for our organization, for me, and for
my sister Gold Star Mothers. God bless you and all the
Vietnam veterans of America.
Ann Y. Sherman Wolcott
National Vice President
American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.
Every day many WWII veterans pass away. These WWII veterans
are our fathers and uncles and our mothers and aunts. They
were significant influences on Vietnam veterans in our
formative years. Recently, my father-in-law, Leonard A.
Gearhart, Jr., passed away. He was a WWII Army veteran.
Prior to his death, my son e-mailed the following message to
My dearest grandfather, it occurs to me after 22 years of
life just how lucky I am to be an American. How lucky I am
to be your grandson. I am proud to say that I am the
grandson of a World War II veteran, the son of a Vietnam
veteran, and the descendant of an American Revolution
veteran. Every day I strive to live up to the proud
tradition of the Gearharts. I am proud to be your grandson,
and I will always love you.
Terrance P. Hubert
Carson City, Nevada
I question your editorial judgment in making your lead
letter in the March/April issue one from a convict. Not only
is Kurt Gehring wrong in the sense that fighting in combat
is, in fact, different from not seeing combat, but it also
hurts the image of VVA by seeming to portray it as a haven
for inmates and recovering addicts. I understand Gehring's
point that we don't need to be divisive in VVA, but we do
have to be realistic. VVA should applaud those of us who
went to law school and grad school after returning from
Vietnam rather than going to prison. If more Vietnam
veterans refrained from smoking and drinking, and ran five
miles every day, the Rev. Phil Salois would have a shorter
obituary column, and VVA would have a better public image.
James C. Anderson
I've been searching for common
ground among the peace folks and others who want peace but
don't want to forget the kids who are in the military. Some
people have termed it "support the warrior, not the war.'' I
never considered myself to be a warrior so I can't identify
with that, but I understand what they are saying. I also
read Thomas Corey's press release of April 9. I was glad
that he mentioned our "right to oppose our government.''
Based on what I've read in the past several months, we, the
veterans who know what war is about, have a duty to speak
FLASHBACKS AND FEAR
I'm having flashbacks. The
nightly news is filled with vivid images of war. The subject
is polarizing communities. The war is beginning to be
debated across the dinner table, at work, and among friends.
The generals assume that bombing will produce positive
results. Shock and Awe sounds like the sequel to Rolling
The President, Secretary of Defense, and the Defense
Department seem to have underestimated the average Iraqi's
patriotism and the average Moslem's response to the war. The
enemy refuses to play by the rules of war. There is talk of
the "Hearts and Minds'' of the enemy and civilians.
Innocent civilians are paying the highest price in the war.
An arrogant Secretary of Defense and President are defining
the war as a battle between good and evil, while questioning
the patriotism of those who disagree.
What always follows a flashback is an overwhelming, cold,
cavernous feeling of fear. This time my fear is for the 18
year old who at the time of his high school graduation could
find himself fighting an ongoing war in a faraway country.
My fear is for the people of Iraq whose dreams of something
better for their children have now turned into a prayer for
their safety. My fear is for the grunt seemingly protected
by his rifle, flack jacket, and helmet blown away by an
unseen booby trap, extremist, or sniper. My fear is for the
returning veterans who will forever have their own images to
kindle their flashbacks. Support the U.S. troops. Bring them