Truth from real soldier

Published: Friday, July 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, June 30, 2005 at 10:20 p.m.
Edward Roberts ("Shame on liberals and the media, June 20") stated that today's American military is no longer made up "of drug-addicted drafters with criminal records," and that "we no longer recruit soldiers who will come home telling phony atrocity stories, parade around in their uniforms protesting the war and then evolve into whining professional veterans."
I assume he is referring to the American draftees who served in Vietnam. I am one of those draftees. I served my on-year tour of duty in Vietnam from February 1967 to February 1968 with the 1st Cavalry Division Air Mobile Infantry.
Of the 684,500 "draftees" who fought in Vietnam, 17,725 of them were killed in combat, giving their lives to protect freedom in America.
The vast majority of those soldiers were neither "drug addicted" nor "criminals." And there were many "atrocities" committed by both sides. The My Lai massacre was hardly a "phony story."
Perhaps the most horrible atrocity of all was committed by the American military not only on the Vietnamese people, but upon our own military personnel; namely the use of Agent Orange, which is still killing people on both sides to this very day.
Finally, when I wear my Vietnam veterans' uniform, on all American holidays, which includes a "Combat Infantry" badge and Bronze Star with "V" device for Valor, I do not "parade around" and "whine" about anything.
I wear my Veterans uniform to show my deep love of America and my deep respect and support for all of America's military.
Alan A. Patterson, Starke

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