Saturday, July 18, 2009

Stolen Valor

I followed a link at Tall Cotton to a site about Vietnam and the myths that abbound. I was too young to serve in Vietnam. Part of my support early on for Carter was actually opposition to Gerald Ford because he did not send bombers back to Vietnam and attempt to stop the invasion by the Communists.
Several Vietnamese families settled in my area, and while I never got to know any of them, I heard their stories. How family members were treated by the NVA and VC, about educated people being killed enmass, and the atrocities of the communists.
The media here was filled with whore stories about the war. Yes, I meant whore. They were little more then paid service, lies and distortions that whitewashed the actions of the communists and vilified our soldiers.
What kind of fool would believe the stories that Walter Crapcart fed us? and his ass hat Dan Blather? People got lazy. they decided it was ok to buy bullshit and so the media piled it higher and deeper.
As the gulf war began in 1991, veterans arround the region decided that they would not allow another Vietnam style reception. When the Memorial at K-State in Manhattan was vandalized, they took action. Some vets went to the memorial and stood guard while the community rallied and put together a support march.
But what kind of men are the veterans of Vietnam? The media wold have you believe they are drug addicted PTSD crippled dreggs of society. At every chance they trot out some example of a war vet gone bad to crow about. Some guy who shot a coop or butchered a family. Is that true? is any of it true? Sure there are a few vets who turned to drugs, crime, and were worthless. They most likekly would have been dreggs with out the war. Most of the ones portrayed as vets either served but were kicked out, or never served a day in the military. Very few of them in fact saw any combat.
So what is the truth about our Vietnam Veterans? They are well educated, a high percentage graduated high school, and 71% took advantage of GI education benefits. They work. Vietnam vets have the lowest unemployment figures for their age group. When compared to the whole, people with no service, and people who served but did not go to Vietnam, the vets are significantly better.
Vets also have the highest per capita income. Think about that. They did not get anything handed to them when they returned. They were spat on and vilified, so they had to claw their way up. They adapted and overcame!
What about the lawless immage presented by films such as Rambo? Another myth. many people in prison claim to be vets, yet a study of records determined that nearly all had no service in Vietnam. Some were ex service members, but had been booted for a variety of reasons. Some were out and out liars. The feral government did a study of the Vietnam vet prison syndrome. They got hoodwinked. They never checked any of their vets to see if they really were vets. Burkett did.
B.GH.Burkett covers it well in "Stolen Valor"
you can read some of it here.
So the moral of the story is, when you read anything in the press remotely hinting that vets are criminals, druggies, depressed, suicidal, or worse, don't believe it. Fact check them and counter attack. Our men and women who served deserve better from each of us.
Time marches on. Don Surber reported that the last hero of Jutland died in England. The years are catching up with our warriors, and soon we will have none left from the war to end all wars pt1, and precious few remaining from pt2. Already, heros of the battles of the cold war, namely Korea and Vietnam are passing at increasing rates. Don't forget them. If you know one, let him or her know that they are a hero to you. gratitude delayed is not good, but gratitude withheld is evil.

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