Saturday, July 10, 2004

The Vietnam Veteran – I’m in Awe

The Vietnam Veteran – I’m in Awe

by The Gray Dog

I am in awe of the number of Vietnam Veterans that have come out against the presumed democratic presidential candidate this year. I am in awe of both their collective and individual efforts to speak out and expose the true circumstances surrounding the service of the Senator from Massachusetts. But mostly, I am just in awe of the Vietnam Vets themselves.

If there was ever a group of men and women asked to serve and sacrifice for what undoubtedly has been America’s most politically driven conflict, it is our Vietnam Veterans. For the conditions they struggled and fought through in Southeast Asia and the subsequent castigation and outright abuse many received upon returning home, one might think they would and perhaps should be united in singular support for one of their own. In fact there are a fair number of vets of that era that are in support of Kerry and I for one will never question their motivation. But, I get the growing sense from the number of web sites, letters to editors, newspaper accounts and even bumper stickers that the loudest voice emerging from this ‘band of brothers’ is definitely opposed to Senator Kerry.

This isn’t to say that they are all conservatives, support the war in Iraq, or are pro-Bush. In fact I have read a number of veteran’s anti-Kerry sentiments that begin with lines such as, “Although I’m a democrat”, or “Even though I don’t agree with President Bush.” So, what is it about Kerry that has caused such a deafening roar from vets thirty years after the conflict’s end?

I will not purport to speak for them. I didn’t earn the right. Although I served actively in the military for four years (1970-1974), I was never ‘in country’. I am what is known as a Vietnam-Era Veteran. It’s a little like being a bench warmer on your high school football team, you show up everyday, wear the uniform, suit-up for practices, but you never really played in the game. As such, I will not question those that were there, no matter what position they take. It is also for this reason that I, personally, will keep my critical remarks of the senator restricted to issues unrelated to his military service.

Besides, there are so many that were there, who speak from the heart, with a passion, eloquence and above all an eye-witness perspective regarding the former lieutenant and his suspect record while in Nam, as well as is behavior afterward, that no one else’s view of this matter is required.

Yes, I am in awe of the Vietnam Veterans. Let their voice be heard at this critical time. They are a group uniquely qualified to see the difference between a politically motivated conflict and a truly ominous threat to America. They are the one’s who can intuitively sense when a politician is currying favor at the expense of blood spilt by their fallen comrades. They are the ones that feel the betrayal of an ex-Naval Lieutenant that once disavowed them, who now as a presidential candidate wears his service on his sleeve like a ‘Red Badge of Courage’. These are the individuals that gave much, received little and are still willing to defend a nation that didn’t always do it’s best by them. But don’t take my word for it. Read theirs!

Visit: Vet’s Truth, Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry, POW/MIA Family Members Against John Kerry, Bartimus, One Vietnam Vet Against Kerry, Viperash: Another Vietnam Vet and many more. You can find all of these sites and many more on the links page at This informative site


At 11:19 AM, Blogger Another old dog said...

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At 12:16 PM, Blogger Gray Dog said...

I'm real sorry to hear about your friend. Friends are damned hard to come by, at least for me and it's really sad when you lose one. Perhaps, as in the past, you guys will be able to work things out. I'm actually glad that your friend didn't read my article. I would hate to think that something I wrote might somehow be responsible.

I appreciate your compliments about being a "true patriot & intellectual", but I'm not sure I qualify as a true patriot, and I'm damned certain that I'm not an intellectual. I only know that there isn't a better country to live in, and it's a damn shame most Americans don't realize that. I also believe that there are a fair number of 'liberals' that may feel that way as well, and to them I will always be willing to enter into a respectful debate. It is the "America Last" crowd that I can't abide. The one's who are willing to blame this country first for all of the ills of the world. You won't find conservatives in this group, because the same people who believe 'America is always wrong', are the same group that will be voting for Kerry. They are the ones that believe the Republicans are to blame for all the ills of this country. I reject these people. I hold them as totally contemptible and as such are not due the courtesy and respect I give to my dog.

If feeling this way makes me a patriot, then I happily accept the title. Although there are thousand more that have given far more than I will ever be able to.

As far as being "intellectual", I have out of necessity in the business world, learned how to turn an occasional clever phrase. I learned to do this so that my memos would at least be read instead of tossed in the 'circular file'.
If I can use this talent to help motivate just one person to get involved and think for themselves instead of letting the Michael Moores of the world lead them by their 'short hairs', then I will feel as if I did something constructive.

I also reject your sentence, 'I might not be smart'. Jim, you have demonstrated the wisdom that only comes from experience and you act upon it with conviction. The smartest man I ever knew, dropped out of high school in the 10th grade, was arrested for 'borrowing' his football coaches truck, and with the help of his father ( who went to probate court to have his birth certificate altered) entered into the Navy in 1943 at the age of 16. This man was my father. A plain simple country boy from West Virginia, that didn't let the lack of 'formal schooling' interfere with a far greater education received by living life.

We have never met and have only corresponded briefly over the last few days, but I would be happy to call you my friend, and honored if you felt that I was one to you.

At 1:36 PM, Blogger Another old dog said...

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At 9:35 PM, Blogger Another old dog said...

Thanks Gray Dog & we would gladly to it again. Service to ones country should mean something & we thank you & BMC for yours. I didn’t get any Purple Owie Medals even thou I did have allot of opportunities. I think I deserved my Bronze Star for my efforts & I’m sure glad I didn’t get any fake ones. I served my country not for political gain as some have, I did it because it was my job & my choice. I don’t care much for phony “War Heroes”. The real travesty is that this man actually could become Commander In Chief of our armed forces, very Skerry indeed.
It is not forgotten Mr. Kerry & we see you for what you are.
Signed: Another Vet against Kerry


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