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



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 Regrettably, because of the volume of mail we receive, we are unable to acknowledge or return unpublished material.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 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 work.

Jerry Donnellan
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.
Mauston, Wisconsin


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 them
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.

Deirdre Morris
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
Accounting Command
Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii


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
Chardon, Ohio


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