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War-Stories' PointMaNewsletter
ONLINE EDITION 2: July August September, 2008
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(Cont. from Page-1)
An Open Letter to Anyone Who Served in Vietnam)

done to you. I understood that I had been manipulated, but I also knew that I had failed to think for myself. It was like waking up out of a nightmare, except that the nightmare was real. I didn't know what to do.
     One day about three years ago, I went to a member of the church I attended at that time, because he had served in Vietnam. I asked him if he had been in Vietnam, and he got a look on his face and said," Yes." Then, I took his hand, looked him square in the face, and said, "Thank you for going." His jaw dropped, he got an amazed look on his face, and then he said, "No one has ever said that to me." He hugged me and I could see that he was about to get tears in his eyes. It gave me an idea, because there is much more that needs to be said. How do we put into words all the regret of so many years? I don't know, but when I have an opportunity, I take. So here goes.
     Have you been to Vietnam? If so, I have something I want to say to you-Thank you for going! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Please forgive me for my insensitivity. I don't know how I could have been so blind, but I was. When I woke up, you were wounded and the damage was done, and I don't know how to fix it.
     I will never stop regretting my actions, and I will never let it happen again. Please understand that I am speaking for the general public also. We know we blew it and we don't know how to make it up to you. We wish we had been there for you when you came home from Vietnam because you were a hero and you deserved better.
     Inside of you there is a pain that will never completely go away and you know what? It's inside of us, too; because when we let you down, we hurt ourselves, too. We all know it and we suffer guilt and we don't know what to do so we cheer for our troops and write letters to "any soldier" and we hang out the yellow ribbons and fly the flag and we love America. We love you too, even if it doesn't feel like it to you.
     I know in my heart that, when we cheer wildly for our troops, part of the reason is trying to make up for Vietnam. And while it may work for us, it does nothing for you. We failed you. You didn't fail us, but we failed you and we lost our only chance to be grateful to you at the time when you needed and deserved it. We have disgraced ourselves and brought shame to our country. We did it and we need your forgiveness. Please say you will forgive us and please take your rightful place as heroes of our country. We have learned a terribly painful lesson at your expense and we don't know how to fix it.

From the heart,

Julie Weaver

When will I forgive the War Protestors?"When will I forgive and forget the Vietnam War protesters?"
by Vietnam War poet:
Jack R. Kays
© 2000

They gathered in the streets and in the coffee house across this great land , where they plotted and planed.
They crusaded, yelled, cursed and in open defiance burned their draft cards in hand.
     They brazenly wave the enemy’s flag in our face.
They shouted, "It’s not our damn war, we won’t go!"
They spit on and burned the Red, White and Blue and yelled "F---- you too!"
      The POW’s under went brutal, intense and prolonged agony, and this man has the audacity to ask me… "When?"
      They made fun of the MIA’s and spit on the returning WIA’s and shouted, "Baby Killers! They screamed their approval when Jane sat on the AAA gun in Hanoi and thumbed her nose at our fighting men and women. I can think of over Fifty Eight thousand reasons for not forgiving or forgetting. And they are all inscribed on a cold black granite wall. And this man has the audacity to ask me…When? Then they ran and hid-out in all four corners of the earth to keep out of harms way.
      When it was all over, they sneaked back into the good old US of A under the protection of the
highest office of the land. "This was an unjust war," Was the lame excuse they used to justify their immoral sin. I ask, "Who gave them a choice?" No one gave you or me a choice! It was our duty, and it was the law of the land. Now, today this man has the audacity to ask me, "When am I going to forget and forgive?"
      Well, let me tell you something my friend, I have the tenacity to answer this question once and for all!
When? When the world cracks at both ends and the seven seas run in.
When snow cap mountains rise from the bowels of hell.
When all the stars have fallen from the heavens.
When time stands still. Not yesterday, not today and not tomorrow, but never! They have perpetrated an unforgivable sin.
I hope to live to see the day ...
When they are all ... just dust in the wind.

Jackie R. Kays,
SSgt USAF (Ret.) ,
35th Air Police Squadron
{Jackie Kays was medically retired after rescuing crewmen in a flare-bird that crashed in the world's heaviest landmine field at Đà Nẵng AB.]