Wednesday, November 01, 2006

An apology to our Vietnam veterans

One of my biggest regrets about the antiwar movement in the Vietnam era was that we activists felt that we were somehow against the troops that fought over there.

This showed a lack of understanding on our part about the hideous sacrifices made by those serving in Nam. We ask people to join the armed forces, and depend on them in an emergency. It was wrong to vilify them then, and I ask forgiveness from any soldiers here who were hurt by our antiwar movement. I would like to hear from you, please? I am truly sorry. It took a long time for me to understand the nature of your sacrifices. Webb’s book Born Fighting helped push me over the top to understanding what you all have done for us, with such little praise or affirmation from folks back home.

I am so happy this time around that progressives and veterans are working TOGETHER to make things come out right. Who would want to be opposing such a force of nature as Norske?

5 comments:

Wm.Gerry Malan said...

I have always believed that a person should be rightly judged by what they do instead of what they say. In my research of Congressional voting records where military and veterans affairs are concerned, I found that elected Republicans only talk the talk, they don’t walk the walk. And you will be shocked to see who the biggest hypocrite turns out to be.

Another thing that I try to do is gather pertinent facts from the most qualified and relevant sources. For example, as regards the war in Iraq, it would seem more important to see what Iraq and Afghanistan veterans thought of their elected representatives, than it would be to determine the opinions of older veterans.

Likewise, if I want an assessment of the state of veteran’s affairs, the experiences of disabled veterans should be more relevant, and therefore more important, than those in better circumstances.

With these parameters in mind, I examined the voting record of Missouri Senator Jim Talent through the lenses of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.iavaaction.org) and the Disabled American Veterans.

A stealth member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Talent missed 65 of 95 committee sessions, earning him a D+ from the Iraq/Afghanistan veterans. Here are some of the reasons why:

• Talent voted against free Tricare for Life for USAR and National Guard.
• He voted twice against more funding for Traumatic Brain Injury research, although it affects 100,000 troops.
• He voted no to a paltry $2 million for Readjustment Counseling Services, but yes to $65 billion for more aircraft.
• Voted no to $21.9 billion for VA medical care and hospital improvements. 2/2/06
• As recently as this March, Talent voted against a $1.5 billion increase for outpatient care, and was against providing an assured stream of funding for veterans programs.
• Talent voted with the President to allow the CIA to continue to torture captured enemy combatants, thereby insuring adverse treatment for captured American soldiers in the future. 9/12/06

The voting record shows that the Democrats in the Senate consistently vote for the interests of veterans by a large margin over Republicans. You can see the DAV scorecard at (www.capwiz.com/dav/scorecard.xc). Overall, Democrats voted for veterans 88% of the time, while the GOP members only supported veterans half the time, Talent 60% of the time.

Only 5 members of the U.S. Senate voted 100 percent for veterans: Sen. Tim Johnson, D-SD; Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL; Sen. Mark Pryor, D-AR; Sen. John Rockefeller, D-WV; and Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-MI.

And the Senator with the worst record, the man who voted for veterans interests the least? Sen. John McCain, R-AZ. The former POW supported veterans a measly 20 percent of the time, and was joined in the cellar only by the two GOP senators from Idaho.

While I have only looked into Jim Talent’s record regarding veterans, if this is how little he cares for soldiers, I have seen enough.

Wm.Gerry Malan said...

I have always believed that a person should be rightly judged by what they do instead of what they say. In my research of Congressional voting records where military and veterans affairs are concerned, I found that elected Republicans only talk the talk, they don’t walk the walk. And you will be shocked to see who the biggest hypocrite turns out to be.

Another thing that I try to do is gather pertinent facts from the most qualified and relevant sources. For example, as regards the war in Iraq, it would seem more important to see what Iraq and Afghanistan veterans thought of their elected representatives, than it would be to determine the opinions of older veterans.

Likewise, if I want an assessment of the state of veteran’s affairs, the experiences of disabled veterans should be more relevant, and therefore more important, than those in better circumstances.

With these parameters in mind, I examined the voting record of Missouri Senator Jim Talent through the lenses of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.iavaaction.org) and the Disabled American Veterans.

A stealth member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Talent missed 65 of 95 committee sessions, earning him a D+ from the Iraq/Afghanistan veterans. Here are some of the reasons why:

• Talent voted against free Tricare for Life for USAR and National Guard.
• He voted twice against more funding for Traumatic Brain Injury research, although it affects 100,000 troops.
• He voted no to a paltry $2 million for Readjustment Counseling Services, but yes to $65 billion for more aircraft.
• Voted no to $21.9 billion for VA medical care and hospital improvements. 2/2/06
• As recently as this March, Talent voted against a $1.5 billion increase for outpatient care, and was against providing an assured stream of funding for veterans programs.
• Talent voted with the President to allow the CIA to continue to torture captured enemy combatants, thereby insuring adverse treatment for captured American soldiers in the future. 9/12/06

The voting record shows that the Democrats in the Senate consistently vote for the interests of veterans by a large margin over Republicans. You can see the DAV scorecard at (www.capwiz.com/dav/scorecard.xc). Overall, Democrats voted for veterans 88% of the time, while the GOP members only supported veterans half the time, Talent 60% of the time.

Only 5 members of the U.S. Senate voted 100 percent for veterans: Sen. Tim Johnson, D-SD; Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL; Sen. Mark Pryor, D-AR; Sen. John Rockefeller, D-WV; and Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-MI.

And the Senator with the worst record, the man who voted for veterans interests the least? Sen. John McCain, R-AZ. The former POW supported veterans a measly 20 percent of the time, and was joined in the cellar only by the two GOP senators from Idaho.

While I have only looked into Jim Talent’s record regarding veterans, if this is how little he cares for soldiers, I have seen enough.

ANDY AMES said...

A 40 YEAR OLD LATE APOLOGY DOESN'T QUITE CUT IT!
I'M A VIET NAM DISABLED VETERAN WHO'S BEEN FIGHTING THE VA BEAURACRACY FOR MANY YEARS! NOT ONLY TO GET MY BENEFITS, BUT TO KEEP THEM AS WELL.
MR. TALENT MUST WANT SOMETHING BECAUSE WAITING 40 YEARS TO FIND HUMILITY, OR AS MANY OF HIS PARTY CLAIM,"I FOUND GOD", IS A RED FLAG TO ME!!!
I'M GLAD HE ONLY OWED ME AN APOLOGY AND NOT MONEY. EITHER WAY IT'S CALLED A "SLOW-PAY" AND IS "NOT ACCEPTED BY ME"!!!
IT'S TOO LATE FOR APOLOGIES, TOO LATE FOR REPENTENCE, TOO LATE FOR DO OVERS OR HOW EVER YOU WANT TO SAY IT!
IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO GIVE THE VA THE BUDGET THEY REQUESTED WHICH IS HELD UP IN CONGRESS RIGHT NOW! WE'LL SEE HOW SORRY TALENT IS WHEN WE COUNT THE "14" REP. SEN.'S THE DEM.'S NEED TO OVER RIDE THIS OUT OF CONTROL PRESIDENTS VETO!!!
WHEN THE VOTE IS TAKEN I'M SURE TALENT WILL SUPPORT THE WHITE HOUSE AS ALWAYS, LIKE HIS RECORD SHOWS!
IT'S EASY TO GIVE LIP SERVICE TO VETERANS BUT IT'S THE VOTE THAT COUNTS!, AND VETERANS CAN SPOT A PHONY A MILE AWAY!
THE AMERICAN PUBLIC HAS BEEN DODGING A GUILT TRIP FOR 40 YEARS AND IGNORING IT, HOPING IT WILL GO AWAY.
WELL AS A VIET NAM VETERAN LET ME SAY THAT I DON'T ACCEPT TALENT'S APOLOGY OR ANY OTHER PERSONS OR GROUPS THAT TREATED US LIKE CRAP WHEN ALL WE WERE DOING THEN IS WHAT SOLDIERS ARE DOING NOW..."AS WE'RE TOLD"!!!!
IF AMERICA WANTS FORGIVENESS THEN STOP ELECTING POLITICIANS WHO START WARS FOR PERSONAL REASONS, SUCH AS AVENGING HIS FATHERS HONOR. YEAH WE VETERANS SAW THRU THAT LIKE IT WAS A PAIN OF GLASS. BUSH WOULDN'T SERVE IN COMBAT BUT HE'LL SEND OTHERS TO DIE WITH OUT A BLINK. VETERANS ALSO KNOW A COWARD WHEN WE SEE ONE TOO!
I DON'T KNOW HOW WE WILL GET OUT OF THIS MESS BUSH HAS GOT US IN, BUT PEOPLE LIKE TALENT HELPED BUSH BY VOTING WITH HIM ON ANYTHING BUSH WANTED AND NOW HE SEE'S THE LIGHT,,,"BULL"!!!

Anonymous said...

apology excepted. :]

Anonymous said...

The apology needed for Vietnam Veterans(to bring closure),is one that could be delivered ,on Veterans Day,at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial,in Washington D.C.,by the President of the United States.
President Obama is supposed to be a Man of change.Perhaps after close to 40 years ,this overdue apology will be made.
I am sure the impact this would make on Vietnam Veterans ,would be well worth these few words spoken and cost the american tax payer nothing,

Patrick Lewis
Vietnam Veteran