I just received my copy of The VVA Veteran, and I
would like to thank you for your good work over the years
and to commend Jim Belshaw for his wonderful story covering
Chapter 333's watchfires in the August/September issue. This
has been a long tradition. It sort of scares us to think
just how long we've been doing it, but it has held up over
the years and become part of the community to honor Vietnam
veterans and all those who wear the uniform.
Thank you very much for your efforts and keep up the good
New City, New York
I spent two years in Vietnam and was wounded in the Tet
Offensive. However, I have never knocked another soldier who
served our country in time of conflict. I think other vets -
such as Mr. Anderson, who complained strongly about veteran
convicts in the May/June issue - should stop doing this. It
is very insensitive and unpatriotic. It also gives Americans
a bad name in the eyes of other countries. Despite our
differences, we must all stick together.
It's time for a wake-up call to those who think they are
better than their peers, simply because they never
experienced "bad luck" as a result of serving our country.
Ronald A. Keith, Sr.
WHAT WE DID
How sad that Gary Gaugherty thinks "noncombatants" in
Vietnam should come out of the closet and be proud of their
service ("Letters," August/September). Even sadder is the
fact that he suggests that "noncombatants" should have felt
shame and a need to justify their support role in Vietnam.
Of all the Vietnam War "combat" veterans I have known,
including my husband, I have never heard one of them express
such sentiments. They have all said, "If you were in
Vietnam, period, you were in a combat zone and you were a
combatant. Everyone who served in Vietnam was in combat, and
this includes nurses and doctors." I have never heard any of
say, "If you weren't in the jungle or rice paddies, you
weren't as important or brave."
The last thing veterans need is another veterans' group.
It's hard enough now for all the organizations to maintain
membership and keep their programs going. I've heard many
veterans say that the different organizations should combine
and form one service organization to serve all veterans, no
matter what you did, when or where you did it, or what
happened to you.
Sun City West, Arizona
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your
excellent coverage of the use of Human Remains Recovery Dogs
to aid in our recent recovery operations in the Socialist
Republic of Vietnam in the October/November issue. Our
mission to account for America's missing and unaccounted for
and provide answers to their families depends largely on the
public support and national commitment that comes from the
awareness generated by articles like yours.
Again, thanks for an outstanding job. "Until They Are Home!"
W. Montague Winfield
Brigadier General, USA
Commander, Joint POW/MIA
Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii
YOU HAD TO BE THERE
Thank you very much for sending copies of the
August/September issue with the article about the 1969 siege
of Ben Het. You had to be there to really appreciate what
went on. I could never convey to other people what I really
saw and did. The author, John Prados, did a very good job of
doing that. My only regret is that this article is
thirty-four years too late.
Edward W. Bushik