Originally created 04/29/01

Not all Vietnam vets are heroes



Regarding the letter writer who criticized President George W. Bush for not attending the homecoming of the 24 hostages from China last week, I disagree wholeheartedly. Rather than playing politics, as he is accused of, Mr. Bush displayed real class in letting the event focus on the servicemen and women and their families, rather than on the president. But that is not the focus of this letter.

I am particularly tired of those who seem to think their Vietnam service gives them some special status or in some way increases the importance of their whining.

I went to Vietnam twice, but I don't have to put another man down in order to make myself look better. Our three combined service tours do not make my younger brother and me heroes, nor does it make our other brother a coward.

To refer to Mr. Bush as a "Vietnam coward" because he enlisted in the Texas Air Guard during the war is to denigrate the service of thousands of military personnel who served in the guard and reserve forces throughout history, both in and out of combat zones.

The way I look at it, not everyone who went to war was a hero, and not everyone who didn't is a coward. If I went and did my job and am satisfied with my own service, then I don't need to criticize anyone else's service or the lack thereof.

We were winning when I left. That does not make everyone who served after that losers.

Steven Lemon, Augusta



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