Sunday, March 06, 2005
A Lot of Good Men (& Women) Made This Possible
Papa Ray, you and all the other young men and women serving lost parts of yourselves in Southeast Asia, one way or another. Your country did a lousy job of thanking you for your service. We've tried as a nation to make amends, maybe it helps some, only you could say. I humbly ask your forgiveness on behalf of Americans who couldn't recognize or acknowledge your sacrifice through the blindnesses of prejudice and ignorance.
It is because of your service -- and the shame all of America feels about the way your service was devalued and your sacrifice "spit upon" -- that today's soldiers' are treated with SO much more respect. Even those who still struggle with why we fight, know that those who fight today -- like you who fought before us -- placed the call of the country above lives and limbs.
It is one thing to risk, to sacrice for a nation that showers you with appreciation. It is another league of heroism altogether to do the same for a country that pretends you don't exist.
Our sacrifice, with all of its comforts and protection, PALES in comparison with the price that you and your fellow soldiers' paid. We soldiers of today owe all the Vietnam-era Vets a BIG thanks. You made this possible for us, you were pointmen for those who would follow your trail. We have benefitted from your wisdom and experience.
And perhaps by now, the country has begun to learn that those who sacrifice without promise of reward are the truest heroes of all.
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