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 Regrettably, because of the volume of mail we receive, we are unable to acknowledge or return unpublished material.

Thank you for the article in the August/September issue about the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, the North Carolina Marine base. It was a very informing article. It is bad enough when a U.S. Marine puts his life on the line overseas and is exposed to the hazards of war, both the enemy and hazardous chemicals. But that Marine shouldn’t have to worry about his children and wife getting sick from the water they cook with, do the laundry with, bathe in, and drink every day.

I hope that these Marine families will be taken care of by our government for any medical problems they may develop. I believe that the commanding officers should be held accountable for not shutting down those wells right away and for not finding other sources of clean, potable water. All our bases should have their water tested at regular intervals for bacteria, chemicals, and heavy metals such as lead, iron, copper, arsenic, and any other metal that is dangerous to one’s health.

Craig Close
Via e-mail


Tom Corey may well be correct that Democratic legislators are more inclined to look favorably upon VA budgetary matters as he says in his President’s Message in the January/February issue. However, The VVA Veteran could save more lives and help more of our fellow veterans in ways that simply emphasize personal responsibility and initiative; that is, cessation of smoking, dealing with substance abuse, low-fat diet, and aerobic exercise.

I doubt very much that I am the only veteran who has never sought or received a penny from the VA. We all agree that veterans should be entitled to world-class treatment and benefits. But it would be a mistake to assume that all, or even most, VVA members are receiving government checks or seeking some expanded benefit from the federal government for our service. Vietnam Veterans of America should not turn itself into just one more benefit-seeking lobbying group.

James C. Anderson
Via e-mail

In reference to your article on vaccinations, “The Needle and the Damage Done,” and the President’s Message, “Is Anyone Listening?” in the January/February issue, I propose that all veterans’ organizations band together and tell the American people the truth, which is: The American veteran gets screwed by the system he fights and dies for.

Larry Fiedler
London, Kentucky


First I read of the dangerous and shameful way the government treated Iraq War Army medic Michael Berger (“The Needle and the Damage Done”). And I thought, “Deja vu all over again.” Haven’t our policy-makers learned anything from Vietnam and the shocking way our troops were exposed to Agent Orange and the vast array of herbicides in Vietnam, not to mention the SHAD experiments? Have they no memory and no conscience?

Then I read about the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs: an important fundraiser with no background or experience in veterans affairs. Then it became clear: To avoid all moral responsibility, get ’em dumb. Keep ’em dumb. They can always claim, “I dunno.”

Jim Doddridge


I would like to commend your organization for its efforts to bridge the gap between all veterans in “Warriors: A Tradition of Service.” Among several of your other monthly features, this has become one of my favorites. VVA certainly honors its motto, “Never again will one generation abandon another,” as well as honoring all veterans. Thanks once again.

Carl Manning
Madison, Wisconsin


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