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

November/December 2005 POLICY FOR LETTERS

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 Regrettably, because of the volume of mail we receive, we are unable to acknowledge or return unpublished material.
   

PAVING THE WAY
This letter is way overdue. I am a veteran of the current war. Since I have returned home, I cannot tell you how many people have thanked me. I really don’t feel I deserve it. You guys are my heroes. You performed in conditions worse than the conditions I served in and did it for a country that was not grateful. You paved the way for soldiers of today and showed us what real courage is.

I am proud to have served my country, but the next time someone wants to thank me, I am going to ask them to do me a favor and thank a Vietnam veteran.

Daniel Wadhams
Via e-mail


BORN IN THE U.S.A.
Once again my VVA Veteran showed up and the first thing I did was read it from cover to cover. I have one small problem. It is with the obituary of our late President and my good friend George Duggins.

He was referred to as the first African-American to serve as our President. Anybody who knew George also knew that he didn’t want to be referred to as an African-American. He told me that he was born in America, was raised in America, and had never been to Africa. This was at a congressional reception when the speaker, who also was black, referred to him as an African-American. After the speech, George very quietly took him aside and corrected him. I know, because I overheard the conversation.

We have lost a great man and I still think of him often. When I was Alabama State President he told me that I was the first person to support him when he was getting ready to run for VVA Vice President. That is one of the best decisions that I ever made. George had a presence that told me that he was someone we could all trust and follow.

I look forward to the time when we will meet again, and if I know George, he will once again say, “Welcome Home.”

Max Roberts
Via e-mail


NO CONTACT
When I got back from Vietnam, I had no job, no education, and no money. My father, a WWII veteran, had zero sympathy for Vietnam veterans. I got no help from any veterans’ organization, from the Veterans Administration, or from any private individual or group. Vietnam veterans were on our own, essentially abandoned by the federal government and by civilian society. Our transition to civilian life consisted of ETS-ing, taking off our fatigues, and being immediately on our own.

In the September/October issue, a National Vietnam Veterans Longitudinal Study was mentioned. Since I returned from Vietnam in the summer of 1970 I have had zero contact with the military or the VA. The only time I received any follow-up paperwork of any kind was an Honorable Discharge in the mail. If the VA wants to know about the lives of Vietnam veterans, it should at least have made some slight attempt to contact us over the past 35 years.

J.A. Anderson
Great Falls, Virginia


WOMEN, PTSD, AND ADDICTION
Karen Offutt makes an excellent and much-needed point in her letter in the July/August issue about the equal need for women veterans’ services that recognize the correlation between addiction and PTSD. This is especially true for women veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, women who have been exposed to the aftermath of heavy combat much more frequently than women veterans of other wars.

In the early 1980s, when my colleague Vince Treanor and I did our initial research, women veterans’ issues regarding PTSD and addiction were not recognized. However, when we co-chaired the first and only national conference on PTSD and addiction concerning veterans, a featured participant was Lynda Van Devanter, one of the most prominent advocates for services to women veterans.

Thomas Brinson
Via e-mail


REFLECTIONS
At our chapter meeting in August, I was presented with a copy of VVA’s recently published poetry anthology, Landing Zone, by our chapter president Larry Savage. I am very pleased to have this copy. Thank you for your efforts in this publication. It is a viable outlet for the writer and the reader to express the varied experiences involved in serving our country. It gives a broader view of what transpires during combat and the reflections of those to whom we owe our gratitude.

Lynne S. Snyder
Belington, West Virginia


FOR THE RECORD
I am a Staff Adviser at the Colonel Harold F. Lyons Chapter 822 at the North Central Correctional Institution in Marion, Ohio. There was incorrect information in the September/October issue. The correct information is that NCCI received the Incarcerated Chapter for the Year Award in 2004 from the Buckeye State Council. I was awarded Incarcerated Staff Adviser for the Year 2004. The plaques are very nice. NCCI became a recognized VVA Chapter in 1999.

Calvin R. Thomas, Jr.
Via e-mail
 

   

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