Before everyone pats themselves on the back for their own sensitivity to these issues, or blames "the mainstream media" for its own lack of compassion, try asking some of the 2,500,000+ Viet Nam veterans--and their families--about all this. These problems go back 40+ years, but we weren't a popular cause. Never were, never have been, never will be. Best pretend we never happened. So no reporters of ANY sort had any interest.
This nation--including most of your readers and yourselves--has a great deal to answer for. Exposing it a now is a good thing and our current crop of wounded warriors certainly deserves to be treated with utomost honor and respect. We have had more Viet Nam veterans "suicide out" than we have listed on The Wall--primarily due to lack of support, concern etc. upon "coming home" (which few of us have ever actually done).
I am not whining--much too old to think anyone would give a rat's patoot at this late stage--and I don't think we were or are much different from our grandfathers returning from WWI. However, the country shows no sign of ever realizing that responsibility for all of those they send does not end with the signing of some "peace" or "armistice" document. Nor does "support our troops" entail simply waving a flag sporadically or buying decals for the back of a minivan or SUV.
J Douglas Britton
Mar 9 2007 - 1:14pm