Our War of Shame (a letter to the editor)

To the Editor

Since our elected U.S. Legislators, Congress and Senate do not to seem to care about our Vietnam War Veterans who are sick from the herbicide Agent Orange Dioxin, I can say I am not proud of our government in the manner in which our Veterans are treated. However, we did our job and did not question our orders. We believed the Vietnam War was to free a country from communistic oppression. This is what America is about, freedom.

Freedom is not free; it is costly in lives and dollars. There is no dollar amount I know of that can replace a life. The real cost are those who died on both sides. The dollars mean nothing. Where the dollars do come into play are the dollars to care for those who came home broken and sick and those who came home in a box.

How do we get these dollars from the American taxpayer? Congress sets dollar amounts to pay for war, to pay for those who come home in a box, plus the wounded. What about those who are sick and broken? Now we have a new set of rules for those who fought the war and lived. Legislative bills must be introduced and dollar amounts agreed on to pay for the needs of the sick and broken who came home alive. It can take years and more legislation. In the meantime, these sick and broken war veterans die off one by one with no resolve from our government who sent them to war. Many get little to no health care and no compensation. A perfect example is the Vietnam War, our War of Shame.

I have often wondered, what if our Legislators were sent to war and had to defend themselves just like our troops on land, sailors at sea and airmen in the sky? A novel thought indeed!

John Bury, U.S. Navy, retired, Vietnam War Veteran Media