Letters to the Editor

Ask a Vietnam vet and you may hear the truth

Recently there have been several people write the Olympian to state that Vietnam era vets were welcomed home as hero’s, treated with respect and dignity, and at no time subjected to mistreatment by the American public. I don’t know what planet that was on, certainly not here on earth. Obviously the writers did not serve in the military during the Vietnam era. Before commenting on something you have no experience in, I encourage you to visit a VFW or Veterans hospital. See if you can find a Vietnam veteran willing to tell you how they were treated when they returned home, and what kind of support system was available. Some might be willing to talk to you, others may not. For some, this is a painful subject they have been trying to put behind them for the past 40 or 50 years. Ask them about the isolation they felt, the distancing of former friends, the difficulty finding employment, the uncomfortable and awkward situations they found themselves in with family, friends, and the general public. Ask why so many went into hiding until they felt they could blend in unnoticed. Ask them respectfully, but don’t try to tell them what their history is. I do not represent or speak for them, they can do that themselves.

David Cornwall