A Soldier's Story (Guest Post)There is a reason that some of those veterans turned their backs to Kerry and that many others sat with arms folded, refusing even polite applause. A reason that non veterans can, perhaps, know intellectually but not feel in their guts.
Like all veterans of all wars, regardless of branch of service or duty stations, we all lost friends there. Some of those we lost were closer than brothers. Unlike other wars in our history we didn't go over together and come home together, our individual wars ended individually.
Unlike other wars we came home branded by a large segment of our society as war criminals, by another segment as losers. Then, as most of us were already home, one of our own officers branded us all, including the dead that we were just beginning to mourn, as war criminals, murderers and rapists.
We later discovered that many of those that he was quoting as witnesses to our 'crimes' had not spent one day in uniform. Others had never served in Viet Nam. None of them, not a single one, would testify under oath, even if granted immunity. Yet our 'crimes' became part of the common knowlege. Our children were given that testimony as fact in their history classes. We all knew soldiers, sailors,airmen and Marines that had died, leaving children behind, we know that those children were taught those same lies as fact. Who sat with those children as we did with ours, explaining that those were lies told for political gain?
It's bad enough that we couldn't mourn our dead then. Now we see the same man that stood over the open graves of our brothers and pissed on their bodies is back. This time he's dug up those bodies and is standing on them to give himself the stature for high office.
I am no famous war hero, just one of the two and a half million guys who wore Uncle's suit for awhile in a place where the same truck would splash red mud on your trousers and throw a cloud of dust on your face at the same time. My service was entirely undistinguished but I stood shoulder to shoulder with some genuine heros. Those heros came home in shiney aluminum caskets, they cannot speak for themselves. I hope someone more famous and more eloquent will speak for them soon. Until they do I can only say that not only is John Kerry not fit to command the young men and women that inherited the uniforms but he is not fit to speak of my comrades, much less speak for them. I shall say this as long as I have a breath left in my body.
This isn't about George Bush or who has a Senate majority for me. It isn't about politics. It's about a bunch of young men who never grew old. It's about the families of some 58,000 men who cannot answer the slander that this War Hee-row has never retracted.
I tried to answer that slander in 1971, I had no one to hear my voice. No way to reach anyone but my family. I have that way now, if only commenting on other people's forums.
It isn't about me. It isn't even about politics. It's about restoring the honor to the 58,000 names carved in black granite.
Posted by Peter at August 24, 2004 03:06 PM