Veteran excoriates non-vet columnist for generalization

Posted 8/14/19

I am deeply offended by Dean Miller’s statement, “Thoughtless anti-Viet Nam protesters, mostly self-righteous juveniles, did incalculable psychic damage to veterans returning from that …

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Veteran excoriates non-vet columnist for generalization

Posted

I am deeply offended by Dean Miller’s statement, “Thoughtless anti-Viet Nam protesters, mostly self-righteous juveniles, did incalculable psychic damage to veterans returning from that war. ...When the country that demanded it then casts you out, is it any wonder some veterans struggle?”

I served in Viet Nam from January, 1970, through February, 1971. Two of my classmates, Bill Smith and Steve Lopeman, died there. The “incalculable psychic damage” I came home with wasn’t caused by “self-righteous juveniles” - cleverly disguised as thoughtful, compassionate human beings - it was living every day in a world where I knew just how thin the veneer of civilization is.

Vets have been welcomed home since Desert Storm-yet 20 veterans a day die by their own hand. Opposition to immoral policies is a moral imperative-for thoughtful and compassionate human beings.

Mr. Miller trivializes the experiences of veterans and echoes Trump’s love it or leave it rhetoric.

Erik Poulsen
Port Townsend

Comments

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Annette Huenke

Eric, thank you for this intelligent, reflective response to Dean Miller’s Aug. 7 column. I didn’t read it until I saw your letter. You rightly point out that the ‘welcome home’ is no solution whatsoever. The country — herein meant to refer to the citizenry, the ones that 'cast you out' — didn’t demand that you be drafted. The government did, and as in most cases in our history, it was not representing the will or interests of its people. As Veterans for Peace board member, Michael Prysner, puts it: “They’re not going to end the wars because it’s not our government. It’s the government of the rich, it’s the government of Wall Street, the oil giants, the defense contractors.”

It may be time to ease back on knee-jerk worship of the military ethos. While a substantial amount of the population can still be propagandized into support for endless wars of choice, the spirit of Vietman-era resistance lives on in many of us.

I urge Dean Miller to read the writings of David Swanson, and see the documentary “The Fog of War,” if he hasn’t already.

Friday, August 16
Tom Camfield

They call my war (the Korean "police acton") the "forgotten war." Fortunately, I wasn't sent into the battle zone but I had two friends (one a PTHS school mate) killed over there. The public didn't really acknowledge much that there was anything going on over there. American casualties were 34,000 killed and 105,000 wounded.

Monday, August 19