Letters to the Editor

Regrets linger from Vietnam

After months of procrastination I too have decided to publicly support Lt. Watada’s 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 God’s 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!”

Paul Lind


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