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

August/September 2003 POLICY FOR LETTERS


We welcome letters to the editor for publication in The VVA Veteran. We are interested in your criticism as well as your praise. Letters may be edited for purposes of clarity or space. Regrettably, because of the volume of mail we receive, we are unable to acknowledge or return unpublished material.

I read with great interest the article "Vets Can Sue Agent Orange Manufacturers" by Leonard J. Selfon in the May/June issue. In the article the statement was made: "The Supreme Court has affirmed the Second Circuit's decision to allow the more recently ill Vietnam veterans with Agent Orange-related diseases to exercise their constitutional right to legal redress." I have recently filed with the VA for disability because I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in March 2001, but only early this year I discovered that the cancer was Agent Orange-related.

Please keep me informed of any legal action concerning this. I want to be a part of the process.

Robert Perrucci
South Plainfield, New Jersey


I have read every issue and every article in The Veteran since it has been published, but I don't believe I have read a more moving article than the one in the May/June issue about the Sons and Daughters in Touch trip to Vietnam.

What the California State Council did to send them off, what each team did while in Vietnam, the personal stories about the sites they went to, and what they did when they were at those sites was very heartfelt.

God bless all the Sons and Daughters, all our Brothers, Sisters, and those who made this trip possible. It was a job well done and another great reason to be proud to be a member of VVA.

Roger A. McGill


In the July issue a letter appeared, once again, on the subject of noncombatants. I was in Vietnam in 1968-69 as a comm specialist in a headquarters communications facility. I worked diligently and professionally. Many days I worked 12 to 24-hour shifts. Because I did my job very well, I was awarded the Joint Services Commendation Medal.

Because combat is somewhat glorified and definitely hazardous to one's health, it is only natural for the contributions of those constantly in harm's way to overshadow those contributions of the support troops. There's no comparison to the two areas of service.

No one who was directly or indirectly in a combat support role should be ashamed of, or have to justify, his or her service. If you did your job as well as you could, and if you served honorably, you should be proud to tell any combat vet that you were there to support him.

Because so many combat support troops feel that their service is overshadowed by combat troops, there should be a veteran's organization for non-combat vets. Something like Non-Combat Vietnam Veterans of America. No veteran would be eligible to become a member if he had more than one close encounter with the enemy. No veteran would be eligible to join if he got a hero medal.

Seriously, all you support people: Come out of the closet. Stand up and be proud of your service.

Gary Gaugherty
Via e-mail


I'm happy to report that shortly after the July issue came out with my "Locator" item in it, I received a call from a fellow 5th Bn., 7th Cavalry Sky Trooper, John Lord of Lowell, Massachusettes, who knew Nickolis Kokalos, plus he sent some pictures.

VVA serves patriots with distinction. Please accept the gratitude of one 7th Cavalry Skytrooper.

Wayne R. Gibbs
Ellisburg, New York


Thank you for inviting me to attend the VVA Convention in St. Louis. I am grateful to have had the invitation and the support to attend. To have been honored with the President's Award for Excellence in Documentary Film is incredibly meaningful, as it is recognition from my father's peers. While it's hard to feel I deserve it, I am very proud. A huge thank you to everyone at VVA.

Stacy Droz Tragos
Topanga, California


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