It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Dear American serviceperson in Iraq,
I am a retired veteran of the army, and my own son is among you, a paratrooper like I was. The changes that are happening to every one of you — some more extreme than others — are changes I know very well. So I´m going to say some things to you straight up in the language to which you are accustomed.
In 1970, I was assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade, then based in northern Binh Dinh Province in what was then the Republic of Vietnam. When I went there, I had my head full of #: # from the news media, # from movies, # about what it supposedly mean to be a man, and # from a lot of my know-nothing neighbors who would tell you plenty about Vietnam even though they´d never been there, or to war at all.
The essence of all this # was that we had to "stay the course in Vietnam," and that we were on some mission to save good Vietnamese from bad Vietnamese, and to keep the bad Vietnamese from hitting beachheads outside of Oakland. We stayed the course until 58,000 Americans were dead and lots more maimed for life, and 3,000,000 Southeast Asians were dead. Ex-military people and even many on active duty played a big part in finally bringing that crime to a halt.
When I started hearing about weapons of mass destruction that threatened the United States from Iraq, a shattered country that had endured almost a decade of trench war followed by an invasion and twelve years of sanctions, my first question was how in the hell can anyone believe that this suffering country presents a threat to the United States? But then I remembered how many people had believed Vietnam threatened the United States. Including me......
Hold on to your humanity.
- by Stan Goff
retired Special Forces Master Sergeant