Over twenty-five years ago, Hollywood and
the newsmedia took the small percentage of homeless, drug addicted and
lost Vietnam Vets and turned them into the poster boys for the whole war
effort. It was a lie. It's time to correct the historical record - to
apologize to our Vets, and to tell today's impressionable college
students - and the world - the truth about the most successful group of
Americans in our nation's history, the post war Vietnam Vets.
Hollywood and the newsmedia (and more than a few politicians) owe our
veterans a major apology for the lies that were (and are still) told
about them. The vast majority of our Vietnam troops - most over 20,
most middle class or above - volunteered to serve to protect and
defend the freedom they know our country stands for. Those with the
least at stake, who took no risk, sacrificed nothing, but are still
celebrated by the news and Hollywood, given respectability in this news
war where these cowards are now condemning America and apologizing for a
man who tortures children - these leftist flower children who spent the
war zoned out across America - spending their parents' money,
condemning our fight against Communism and our Veterans, but quick to
abuse the freedoms others fought and died for are organized and fed
misinformation by the same people who pushed the same anti-American lies
30 years ago - and they're gathering again, on Feb. 15th. Check
for details, and please, if you have a loved one at an American
University - tell them the truth about these people. American peaceniks
now teach our children and run our news business and it's up to us to
say NO. Call the local news people when they promote this cause as
legitimate, call the local University, talk to your pastors. Our troops
deserved better then, and they deserve better now.
It's time for the newsmedia to tell the truth. You can find excerpts
from "Stolen Valor" at the Newsmax.com website, or look it up on the
net. BG Burkett spent years researching and documenting the facts about
our Veterans. They are not the miserable victims of a heartless
militaristic Government - and are highly insulted at the arrogance and
ignorance of that accusation.
Many of us, average Americans who know how great our country is - are
working to spread this information far and wide - so that one day the
mainstream media will no longer be able to cover it up and ignore it, or
spread the same lies without being mocked by an informed America.
Another generation of courageous volunteers fighting for our freedom
today will not go through what our Vietnam Vets went through overseas
and here at home, if we expose the lies about Vietnam and our Vets being
spread on campus, in our news and on our TV and movie screens by
still-deluded 60's "children" wielding their power more carelessly than
any "Imperialist" government - with comfort from their like-deluded
peers and without any thought to the consequences.
Part III - Will
the Real Vietnam Vet Stand Up?
B.G. Burkett and Glenna Whitley
NewsMax.com: Excerpts from Stolen Valor: How The Vietnam Generation
Was Robbed Of its Heroes And its Historyby B.G. Burkett & Glenna
To order Stolen
Valor: How the Vietnam Generation Was Robbed of its Heros and its
America won World
War II. Vietnam was "the only war America ever lost."
In World War II,
everybody pulled together. Vietnam was the class war, the war in which
wet-behind-the-ears, poor, uneducated, minority men were chopped to
pieces while college boys thumbed their noses at them in campus antiwar
soldiers in World War II bested the evil armies of Hitler and Hirohito.
In Vietnam, confused, drug addicted soldiers killed women and children.
World War II's
veterans came home to stirring parades, ready to sire the baby boom and
forge a supernation. Vietnam veterans trickled back in dishonor,
fighting drug habits and inner demons. Or so say the stereotypes. Let's
look behind the myths:
Myth: The war
in Vietnam was fought by teenagers barely old enough to shave, while
World War II was fought by men. A much-repeated statistic claims that
the average age of the Vietnam soldier was 19, while the average age of
the World War II soldier was 26.
average age of men killed in Vietnam was 22.8 years, or almost 23 years
old. While the average age of those killed was 22.8, more 20-year-olds
were killed than any other age, followed by 21-year-olds, then
19-year-olds. More 52-year-olds (22) died in Vietnam than youths of 17
(12). The oldest American serviceman killed was 62. Almost 11 percent of
those who died were 30 years of age or older.
Myth: The war
was fought predominantly by draftees.
About one-third of Vietnam-era veterans entered the military through the
draft, far lower than the 67 percent drafted in World War II. And once
drafted, many men volunteered for the Marines, the Airborne, Special
Forces, or other duty likely to send them to Vietnam.
Myth: It was
a class war, with the poor and lower middle class those who suffered the
brunt of it. The best and the brightest didn't go.
force that fought in Vietnam was America's best educated and most
egalitarian in the country's history -- and with the advent of the
all-volunteer Army is likely to remain so.
In World War II,
only 45 percent of the troops had a high school diploma.
Many were virtually
illiterate. During the Vietnam War, almost 80 percent of those who
served had high school diplomas, even though, at the time, only 65
percent of military age youths in the U.S. had a high school degree.
Vietnam era, the median education level of the enlisted man was about 13
years. Proportionately three times as many college graduates served in
Vietnam than in World War II.
A study done at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992 compared the
socio-economics of the 58,000 Americans killed in Vietnam to 58,000
randomly chosen contemporaries by rating their home-of-record according
to per-capita income. They discovered that 30 percent of the KIAs came
from the lowest third of the income range; but 26 percent of the combat
deaths came from families earning in the highest third. This result was
startling -- and far from the expectation that wealthier Americans were
sheltered from the war.
Myth: The war
took the highest toll on minorities.
About 5 percent of those who died were Hispanic and 12.5 percent were
black -- making both minorities slightly under-represented in relation
to their proportion of draft-age males in the national population. (This
will be discussed further in a later chapter.)
soldier in Vietnam smoked pot and shot up with heroin to dull the
horrors of combat.
1967, the drug use rate of .25 per 1,000 troops in Vietnam was lower
than the Army-wide rate of .30 per 1,000 troops. Except for the last
couple of years of the war, drug usage among American troops in Vietnam
was lower than for American troops stationed anywhere else in the world,
including the United States. Even when the drug use started to rise in
1971 and 1972, almost 90 percent of the men who had ever served in
Vietnam had already come and gone. America had virtually thrown in the
towel; idleness and the declining troop morale led to escalating drug
use that reached crisis proportions.
A study after the
war by the VA showed drug usage of veterans and non-veterans of the
Vietnam age group was about the same. Another study, the "Vietnam-Era
Research Project," concluded that drug use was more common among
non-veterans than Vietnam-era veterans.
American soldiers deserted rather than fight the "immoral" war.
World War II, the Army's overall desertion rate during that war was 55
percent higher than during Vietnam. Of those troops who deserted during
the Vietnam era, only five percent did so while attached to units in
Vietnam. Only 24 deserters attributed their action to the desire to
"avoid hazardous duty." Of AWOLs, only 10 percent were related to
opposition to the war.
vets have high rates of incarceration.
Reality: A 1981 VA
study concluded that 25 percent of those in combat during the war had
ended up in prison. In the mid-1980s VietNow, one of the first Vietnam
veterans' organizations to receive a VA grant for delayed stress
counseling, put out a pamphlet claiming that over 70,000 Vietnam vets
were behind bars, while over 200,000 were on probation, parole, or out
on bail. The more mainstream Vietnam Veterans of America has claimed
that 5 to 12 percent of the prison population at any given time are
Vietnam vets, with up to 300,000 in the criminal justice system.
All this information
is based on self-reporting by prisoners. But in every major study of
Vietnam veterans where the military records were pulled from the
National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis and the veterans then
located for interviews, an insignificant number have been found in
Substantial numbers of Vietnam veterans are unemployed.
Vietnam veterans are no more likely to be unemployed than men who did
not serve in Vietnam and, in fact, have a lower unemployment rate than
those who didn't serve. Figures from 1994 showed that the unemployment
rate for U.S. males 18 and over was 6 percent. The unemployment rate for
all male veterans was 4.9 percent. Among Vietnam-era veterans who served
outside the Vietnam theater, it was 5 percent. For Vietnam veterans, the
rate went down to 3.9 percent.
In every category
for which I could find statistics, Vietnam veterans were as successful
or more successful than men their age who did not go to Vietnam. A
Washington Post/ABC News survey released in April 1985, on the tenth
anniversary of the fall of Saigon, reinforced the findings of the
earlier Harris study. The Post/ABC survey randomly polled 811 veterans
who served in Vietnam and Southeast Asia and 438 Vietnam-era veterans
who served elsewhere. The poll revealed that only nine percent of
Vietnam veterans had never graduated from high school compared to 23
percent of their peers. A Vietnam veteran was more likely to have gone
to college than a man of his age not in the service; nearly 30 percent
of Vietnam vets had some college education, versus 24 percent of the
edge translated to employment rates similar to non-veterans of the war.
In 1985, three of every four said their annual household incomes
exceeded $20,000. Almost half made $30,000 or more per year.
Seventy-eight percent were homeowners, paying mortgages on traditional,
single-family homes -- and more likely to own a home than their peers
who did not go to Vietnam. Eight of every 10 surveyed were married and
90 percent had children.
Washington Post survey indicated that, despite the negative attitudes of
the public, Vietnam veterans had positive feelings about their
percent said they "enjoyed their time in service."
- Eighty percent disagreed with the statement "the United States took
unfair advantage of me."
- Fifty-six percent of Vietnam veterans said they benefited in the long
run by going to Vietnam. Only 29 percent said they were set back.
- Ninety-one percent of those who served in Vietnam were "glad they
served their country."
Who knew? Why not!?
Please spread the news, help set the record straight and keep it
straight for our Veterans and our VOLUNTARY, bright and brave troops
Ft. Myers, FL
That's my letter to the press, etc. This one's for you, from Michelle
Malkin. Please pass it on to someone in harm's way. Thank you for your
service to our country, both past and present. God bless America.
Dear American soldier,
You don't know me, but I know who you are and I will not forget.
You are deploying from Fort Carson and Fort Hood and Fort Bliss and Fort
Stewart. You hail from Middletown and Middleboro and Greenville and
Redding and Thousand Oaks and Maple Tree. You are white, black, brown,
and yellow-but always Americans first.
You are with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team and the 10th Combat Support
Hospital and the 571st Air Ambulance Medical Evacuation Company. You are
with the 1st Cavalry Division and the 3rd Infantry Division and the
"Iron Horse" 4th Infantry Division. You are Black Knights with the 2nd
Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment. You are engineers, drivers and medics
in the 13th Corps Support Command.
Your motto is "We Will," "Steadfast and Loyal," "Swift and Deadly,"
"Always Prepared," "First to Fight," and "No Task Too Tough."
You will be joined overseas by thousands of sailors and Marines on the
USS Boxer and USS Bonhomme Richard and USS Cleveland and USS Dubuque and
USS Anchorage and USS Comstock and USS Pearl Harbor. You will get
support in the Gulf from an airborne infantry brigade, a squadron of
F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighters, and two squadrons of F-16CJ
You have friends on the USS Constellation in the Persian Gulf, and the
USS Harry S Truman in the Mediterranean Sea, and the carrier USS Abraham
Lincoln stationed at Perth, Australia, and the USNS Yano en route to the
Red Sea, and the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson on its way to a
training mission in the Pacific.
You have classmates and colleagues and cousins who died at the Pentagon
and in the Twin Towers on September 11. You have buddies who took
bullets over the past year in Afghanistan and Kuwait and the Philippines
during Operation Enduring Freedom. You have uncles and brothers and
fathers and grandfathers who sacrificed their lives in past wars.
Their deaths haunt you. Their heroism inspires you. Their footsteps
beckon and you cannot resist.
You have wives who are tough as nails and husbands who are enormously
proud. You have toddlers who know the colors of the American flag and
grade-schoolers who have memorized Army verses like these:
- The hardest job, the dirtiest job
- Since ever war began
- Is picking 'em up and laying 'em down
- The job of an infantryman
- No mission too difficult
- No sacrifice too great
- Our duty to the nation
- Is the first we're here to state
- Our doughboys come from Brooklyn
- Our gunners from Vermont
- Our signals from Fort Monmouth
- Our engineers DuPont
- Against the foes of freedom
- We fight for liberty
- We make no peace with tyrants
- On land or on the sea
As you pack your green Army duffel bags,
press your desert camouflage fatigues, polish your boots and kiss your
families goodbye, please take these words with you:
Thank you. Thank you for answering the call to arms. Thank you for being
fit and young and brave and willing. Thank you for loving freedom enough
to put your own life on the line to defend it.
Pay no attention to Sean Penn and Sheryl Crow and Baghdad Babs. Tune out
the half-naked loonies and Flower Power leftovers. Stand tall. Fight
hard. And know that there are legions of Americans who are boundlessly
grateful for what you have volunteered to do.
We know who you are. We will not forget. And we will pray every day for
your safe return. Hoo-ah!
(The Department of Defense's online thank you note to the men and women
of the U.S. military can be signed at