Letters to the Editor

Service recalled

To the Journal editor:

This Veterans Day, I’m again thinking of the draft card burners and those that ran to Canada proclaiming, “Hell No We Won’t Go.”

Were they later employed where Veterans Day was an observed holiday, with a paid day off or premium pay if worked?

I think of the venomous slander heaped on us that served, to give cover to those that refused. A quote from the book “Stolen Valor” (Burkett/Whitley) says it well. “Goal of the New Left on campuses had been to transform the shame of the fearful into the guilt of the courageous.” (Tom Wolfe)

More disturbing was the enthusiastic willingness of the left, academia, the media and the entertainment industry to embrace their agenda. That the government and people broke faith with those of us that served in Vietnam is a understatement.

I thought the truth would someday come out, I know now I’ll never see it, should it happen. What bothers me more is that my children and grandchildren are exposed to their indoctrination.

At 20-years old, I left the port of Tacoma on a ship with the 4th Infantry Division en route to Vietnam, a typhoon made it a memorable journey. The following 11 months is best described as being dirty, tired, hungry, scared and just wanting to go home.

My reply to those that thank me for my service is: Don’t thank me. I was drafted. Thank those that volunteer to go in harm’s way.

I’m asked why I allowed myself to be drafted. When young I was taught that military service was a honorable thing, and not showing proper respect for Mother, God and country would earn an immediate verbal or physical reprimand from the nearest adult.

Today professional athletes refuse to stand for the flag/National Anthem upsetting many.

I participated in parades with the VFW for many years. It was common to see people in lawn chairs along the parade route remain seated as the colors passed. When one has no personal investment in a thing why would they have any respect for it?

How lucky the young people are living in this modern secular, progressive society, unburdened by the mores of past years.

But they’ll be disappointed to learn the world will never be the utopia they seek and true respect is earned not demanded.

Tom Petrocik