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Nov-11-2011 12:36printcomments

Veterans . . . a Debt Owed!

Veterans include those who have served and those who are serving.

Traveling Wall
From a visit of the Traveling Wall to Oregon. photo by Tim King

(HARRISVILLE, N.H.) - To me, the perfect way to understand what our country owes to our veterans is to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. This monument was designed not to be a memorial to the Viet Nam War but to the men and women who served there. The wall currently holds the names of 58,272 service men and women who lost their lives in that conflict. This monument rightfully honors all those who served and risked their lives there. Too many U.S. citizens still visit that wall during the frequent tours and are amazed at the number of names but fail to reflect on the lives lost, the hopes and dreams destroyed, the families forever torn asunder, the fathers and mothers who would never get to hug their sons or daughters again, and the birthdays that once brought joy but now bring sorrow.

We are right to honor our veterans and wise to build memorials to them, rather than to the wars our politicians create!

Here's the rub though: Many of those fortunate enough to return home, do so as damaged individuals. Physically and/or mentally injured in such a way that they can never resume the lives they knew before their service. Jobs they once held have possibly been filled by others in their absence. Injuries, both physical and/or mental, may now limit the abilities they once had. These physical and mental losses happened because these men and women attempted to serve their country and its citizens . . . at least that is what they were told by those warming the seats in Washington. To turn our backs on those who sacrificed so much for us would be low and callous to say the least.

So fellow citizens, pick up your pens and send a personal note to your Congressional Representatives and Senators telling them that you expect them to fight to assure that all necessary and appropriate services are given to those who gave service to us. Those services should include (but not be limited to) Medical care, employment training and placement, financial assistance, and appropriate personal recognition of their sacrifice. These unsung heroes are, after all, far more than just names to be inscribed on a wall somewhere!

Writer Robert Collinsworth is an American who isn't hesitant to talk about the good side of his country, and that is a welcome thing in this day and age. admittedly, is very critical of both American politics, as well as those of other nations that we perceive is being wrong in their motives and actions. At the same time, within these structures we criticize, are many outstanding people who make each day a better place for all those around them. They embody and personify the American spirit that is sometimes fleeting, but always present.

These are some of the things Robert takes into account when writing commentary that is designed reach people, to "get them thinking" in his words, and indeed it does.'s goal is for all people to be on the same page, we appreciate Bob's more conservative approach toward that same goal."

You can write to Bob Collingsworth at this email address:

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Anonymous November 12, 2011 6:05 pm (Pacific time)

Manzanar you are re-writing history as to the cause and effect of hostilities in Southeast Asia. Are you familiar with SEATO? No doubt LBJ engaged in some bad behavior to get us into Vietnam when he did, but major intervention via South Vietnamese (an ally by the way) invitation was coming down anyway. Most all these governments are corrupt, but the facts were clear that the North Vietnamese were the agressors. Ho Chi was the worst kind of opprotunist, and I feel so bad that I missed my chance to kill that phoney bastard. He, like Mao, and their flawed demonic characters got millions of their own people killed. There will always be those out there who want to blame America for everything, these people never saw combat up close and personal, for if they did in Vietnam, they would know just how evil the North Vietnamese, North Koreans and communist Chinese are. So how about you all getting a history book not written by some far left commie? Unlike you will, so enjoy the ignorance wallowing.

Editor: Yeah well when it comes to left wing commies and right wing fascists, I don't see much difference.   It is terrible that so many Vietnamese died in this ridiculous war.  There is no ignorance in this conversation that you didn't bring to it.

COLLI November 12, 2011 5:05 pm (Pacific time)

I would say that the death of anyone because of war is not just regrettable . . . it is horrible. However, my article is about a country honoring it veterans, understanding the cost of war, and taking care of its veterans . . . not praising what the United States Congress decided to do regarding Viet Nam or any other war. It is obviously up to each country to honor its veterans (living or dead ) or not. I would assume that Viet Nam does honor its veterans and all war dead. It is sad that any country has war dead to consider honoring and I am certain that the families they left behind would agree with me. My intent is not to elevate war but to pay homage to those who believed they fought for their country but then I think you already know that don’t you?

manzanar November 12, 2011 1:33 pm (Pacific time)

Three million Vietnamese died because the United States started a war without provocation or reason. Do we erect a memorial to the three million?

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