Where is the nation headed?

To the Editor:

I am a member of a group of Americans whose numbers are beginning to decrease. I am a member of a group of Americans who passed through a time of some of the greatest events affecting this beloved country since the Civil War. I am a member of a group of Americans whose service to their country is probably the least appreciated and the most polarizing of any group of Americans since the Spanish Civil War. I am a Vietnam veteran. I am an in-country Vietnam veteran. I am one of the 2.6 million Americans who served in Vietnam or in the waters surrounding that country from 1954 until our exit from that country in 1972.

Has it really been 44 years since I got off that plane at Travis Air Force Base in California, proudly wearing my uniform, waiting for a bus in San Francisco and being loudly vilified by a little old lady who called me a Nazi and a child killer, and a coward for going to Vietnam? The memory of that encounter has never left me, and the sense of anger has moderated but will always be there. I grew up in the ’40s and ’50s when service to one’s country was a given and we listened raptly to the stories of our relatives and friends who had fought in other wars. My life’s ambition was to have a career in the Navy and to see the world. I joined the Navy at the end of the ’50s and lived history during the decade of the ’60s. The ’60s were a sad and turbulent decade for our country — the Cuban missile crisis, the assassination of President Kennedy, the gradual escalation of the war in Vietnam and the polarization of our nation over that war.

Being a professional military man, I wanted to be where the action was, so I volunteered for service in the combat zone, Vietnam. Needless to say, one’s first exposure to war is a sobering experience, but I had asked for it, so there I was. I felt, after a time, sympathy and compassion for the young draftees who comprised a majority of the young troops being sent to Vietnam. We professionals had few doubts or reservations about what we were doing there, but the young ones were often simply bewildered.

Another mistake was the one-year tour for most people going to Vietnam. Three months scared to death and learning, three months doing the job, three months being careful and three months trying to survive and go home. Another mistake was the one-by-one replacement policy — you went over alone and you came home alone. But, come home we did. The “welcome” that we received is now a well-known fact of history.

Now, I find that the country that we sacrificed so much for is in the grip of a man and his gang of brigands who have no sense of sacrifice and no sense of personal honor. He espoused the cause of this country’s enemies long ago and is now in a position to carry out the plan of those who plotted the destruction of this nation long before he was born.

He has subverted our government and our formerly decent society and now, with the aid of his henchmen, attempts to subvert the Constitution that gave our nation birth. He supports the destruction of the Second Amend-ment by which the people of this great nation could defend themselves against the kind of dictatorship that he would dearly love to see himself presiding over, and all in the name of “Safety and Freedom.”

Will the sacrifices of all the veterans who came before me be made null and void and negated by the crooks, liberals and political prostitutes in our government? Will the blood of brave men, from Lexington and Concord to the God-blasted mountains of Afghanistan, cry out from the ground at being betrayed by those who have never a shot fired in anger? Will these faithless political hacks trade our holy heritage for a mess of liberal pottage? Or must we veterans, and the millions of like-minded patriots like us, once again shed our blood to save the nation to which we owe so much?

Your chains are being forged, Americans. Will you oppose them, or will you meekly accept your government entitlements and grow accustomed to your fetters? I choose to die first, behind my (unregistered) rifle.

David D. Jones

Story First Published: 2013-01-16