Saturday May 18, 2013
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I have read the reports of the speeches given by both candidates yesterday, and I have nothing to argue about with either of those speeches. I did not put up this string to talk about politics, elections, differing viewpoints, or the future of America. I put it up to let you share something about a part of our history, a wrong that has rankled within the hearts of fair minded Americans for nearly four decades.
I heard something that is still ringing in my ears, and I think you should hear it too. For the first in the almost forty years since I left the service I heard an American President say what should have been said a long time ago.
Here it is:
Speaking of Vietnam veterans yesterday, President Obama said, "[many of you] came home and were sometimes denigrated when you should have been celebrated. It was a national shame, a disgrace that should have never happened. [Yet] even though some Americans turned their backs on you, you never turned your back on America.”
It should not have taken 40 years!
Tom, you are right.
However, in my heart, I can't help but think it is an election year.
Cynical? Perhaps. My distrust of politicians was born, as a very young man, from those years.
(I questioned myself whether I should send this... what the heck)
I agree with your cynicism John. Even though the content of Obama's statement is all too true, I feel that all of the politicians will take advantage of an opportunity to evoke sentiment. If the politician can get us vets to vote for him, he will try.
I know where you are coming from, but it sure felt good to hear those words.
And you're not cynical. I'm in the process of reading political bio's--Ike, JFK, Nixon, Ford, Johnson, some of their white house aides, others. Anyone who read those books and didn't take anything a politician said with a large grain of salt would have to be brain dead.
I also just got done reading a book called "Stolen Valor." It was written by someone who served in Vietnam and who happened to get involved in raising funds for a memorial wall in Dallas like the one in DC. In checking names and whatnot he had occasion to check a few military records. At first he thought he had made an error, but as he checked deeper and deeper he found that there are people running around this country wearing medals they never earned--even the Medal of Honor. And not just a few people, either. He went from there to doing some checking on people who wrote books about their experiences, checking on news reports, and even on documentaries. What he uncovered are some of the most disgusting things I have ever seen. Some of the people who wrote books that sold millions of copies never saw Vietnam. Many news stories were complete fakes; mentioned outfits that were not there, and told stories about things that did not happen. Dan Rather did a "documentary" during the war with six "Vietnam veterans" on it who told stories that painted a horrible picture of what was going on. When the author of the book checked into it (because he had been doing so much research he found it hard to believe that he had missed all the things they were saying) he found out that not one of them was what he said he was. Some of them never so much as set foot in Vietnam. Dan Rather never did a single check on those people. What does that say? The man who wrote the book did not start out to write a book, but I'm glad he did. It ought to be mandatory reading.
Nevertheless, I agree with both you and Fred. The only thing that struck me about it when I heard Obama say those things was that a portion of his core support comes from people of the "baby boomer" period who were so against the war, so it puzzled me why he was taking a chance on alienating some of his support group.
Who knows? I sure don't. I was just glad to hear those words.
Vietnam, 1967-69,USN, APSS 282, classified Submarine opps, Mobile Riverine Force, Mekong Delta, Dang Tam, ASPB dragonfly alpha 2.
I heard those words from Bush, 2006, I heard them again here in Payson when the traveling Viet Nam Wall came not once but twice.
Did you hear his Memorial Day Address? You would think there has never been a leader so great.
If I hear him refer to this Country, The military, the Government, in the First Person Singular again, I will Puke!!!!!
Times have changed, people forget. Heck the war was 40 years ago, but the very young people that went Liberal in the 60s, opposed the war, demonstrated, burned flags, threw fruit on returning vets,(I was a recipient of some, LA international.) .......Are Sitting In The Seats Of Power In The Whitehouse (we fought to protect) thanks to this President and choice of Cabinet.
I for one have not quite decided to forgive.
Just add forty to 15 through 25, and what do you get?
Having read "Stolen Valor," which you should read, Dan, because you would gain a lot of valuable knowledge from it, knowledge of how the false stories got around, I don't entirely blame the hippies and the flower children anymore. They were only repeating what they were told. I blame the liars who put the ideas in their heads every day.
And it sure is good to hear someone at the top admit that those guys getting off those planes deserved a round of applause. They didn't start the war, they didn't decide whether to keep on with it, and they didn't decide on the tactics; they just stood up and were counted when their country needed them.
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