As if Viet Nam Veterans haven't received enough abuse from the lamestream media, on January 21, 2007, an op-ed was published by the L.A. Times titled the above.
Apocalypse again -- call up the Vietnam vets
Where else can Bush get 21,500 trained soldiers for his 'surge'?
By Paul Whitefield, PAUL WHITEFIELD supervises the editorial pages' copy desk.
January 21, 2007
LISTENING TO President Bush's speech on Iraq earlier this month, my first thought was: "Where the heck are we going to get 21,500 more soldiers to send to Iraq?" Our Reserves are depleted, our National Guard is worn out, our Army and Marine Corps are stretched to the limit.
Then it hit me: Re-up our Vietnam War veterans and send them.
They're trained. They're battle-hardened. Many already have post-traumatic stress disorder. Also, some have their own vehicles — Harleys mostly, which are cheap to run, make small targets and are highly mobile. I'll even bet that lots of these guys still have guns (you know, just in case).
OK, some vets are a bit long in the tooth (or don't have teeth — because of Agent Orange?). Or their eyesight isn't what it was. Or their reflexes have slowed. But with today's modern weaponry, how well do you have to see?
Too out of shape, you say? Listen, if Rocky Balboa can step back into the ring at age 60, all these Vietnam War vets need is a little boot-camp magic and they'll be good to go. I mean, who doesn't want to drop a few pounds?
Don't want geezers fighting for us? Well, let's face it, our young people have greater value right here. Most of us want to retire and collect our hard-earned Social Security, and we need those youngsters here, working and paying taxes — lots of taxes.
Finally, these Vietnam War guys are hungry for revenge. After all, they fought in the only war the U.S. ever lost. And they didn't even get a parade. So this is their chance. We can throw them that big parade when they come marching home.
My letter sent off to the L.A. Times, which will never be printed, I am sure;
It was with particular disgust that I read Mr. Whitfield's January 21 "op-ed" article, "Apocalypse again -- call up the Vietnam vets." As one of the “geezers” he opines are so “out of shape” and of “less value” than today’s youthful “ALL VOLUNTEER” force, who see the same threats to freedom and liberty we saw, I recall the abuse we received at the hands of today’s leftwing heroes, such as Democrat Senator John Kerry, as he accused us of being “monsters,” “murderers,” and “war criminals” while he advocated surrendering to our enemies.
I recall Jane Fonda’s trip to the enemies land and manning one of their anti-aircraft guns, of seeing episodes on TV programs of the time depicting returning Veterans, who wanted nothing more than the return of the life they left behind, portrayed as evil, demented men, demon driven to kill any and everyone in their path. That it was a lie didn’t seem to matter, we were expendable to broadcast ratings and unimaginative screenwriters plots.
We watched as we were transferred from demonic “baby killers,” although many of us do not support abortion on demand, to “hapless victims of a corrupt military,” in movies as the Rambo series, still ready to kill and rain havoc on a community that would refuse to serve us food at a diner.
Now in comes Whitefield to carry forth that lie with his depiction of 2.5 million men who honorably answered the call to duty and shed their blood and sweat fighting the spread of an oppressive style of government that eventually brought about the deaths of untold millions of dissenters and innocent civilians in Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos.
Mr. Whitefield, let me tell you. I am 58 years old. I served 18 months in Viet Nam. I have a full head of gray hair, have not ridden a motorcycle, much less a Harley, since 1968 and have no plans to. I have been gainfully employed since my exiting the U.S. Army, raised two daughters to adulthood, neither of which have ever been in trouble. I do wear dentures, but not due to “Agent Orange” but due to slipping while building a doll house for my daughters and having the wrong end of a claw hammer strike me in the mouth. I do wear glasses, but did when in Viet Nam as well. I still retain a 34 inch waist and bathe daily. I miss very little work as a heavy line auto technician and apply the expertise I learned as Helicopter Crew Chief/Mechanic to my daily repairs of customer’s cars. I have not even received a traffic ticket since 1967, two years prior to my enlisting in the U.S. Army.
Last, but not least, yes, I do still own a gun that I keep for personal protection, as I am permitted under our Second Amendment. I am proud to add that my gun has killed or harmed less people than has Democrat Senator Ted Kennedy’s car.
Mr. Whitefield, if you are so worried about where an additional 21,500 bodies can be found to fill the ranks called for by President Bush and you see fit to use those up in age, to spare the youth, may I suggest you start with all those who fled the country rather than answer the call to duty and who later filed back into the country as they were granted amnesty by the great Democrat failure as President, Jimmy Carter.
You say that “we didn’t get a parade.” I don’t recall ever asking for one. Those who cowardly ran then slid back and took up hero status never received their chance to serve their fellow man and are long overdue. My guess is you never served either, so maybe you can join the draft dodgers, starting with former President Clinton, and do your service, while those of us who already served “collect our pensions and social security,” that we also paid into and earned.
We served the country once, when do you?
UPDATE: Adding to this is an article ran in the Washington Post, January 30, 2007, The Troops Also Need to Support the American People where the author refers to our All Volunteer Military today as "mercenaries." Coming under heavy fire for that, in a feeble effort to either excuse his crassness or apologize, not sure which, William Arkin, the author states, "I intentionally chose to criticize the military and used the word to incite and call into question their presumption that the public had a duty to support them. The public has duties, but not to the American military." A Note to My Readers on Supporting the Troops