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Regrets linger from Vietnam
After months of procrastination I too have decided to publicly support Lt. Watadas decision to refuse to deploy to Iraq.
As a young soldier in Vietnam I dutifully followed all orders, including participation in torture and other acts of violence. My training taught me to believe that all gooks were evil members of a lower life form who deserved anything that was meted out to them. As an American I was from a Christian nation which was following Gods will and therefore our actions were justified.
Today I sometimes struggle with guilt and depression over my action and inactions some 30 years ago. I would gladly trade my Bronze Star for the chance to go back and change things. My learned prejudices are immoral but extremely difficult to erase.
Yes, I support our troops both in Iraq and those returning with severe mental and physical problems. Many vets now believe it is truly American to stand up and say No!