The Spokesman-Review

Letters to the Editor

Poor see most combat

When I returned home from my U.S. Army overseas tour in early 1969, Vietnam had yet to rage another four years. I was, of course, among the “lucky” or fortunate returners. Some of my comrades came home so gruesomely and hideously wounded it was a miracle they were even still alive, to say nothing of all those killed.

Looking for a job, I anticipated that at least my courage and discipline would be revered and respected. Fancy my dismay to encounter only scorn, contempt and ridicule. Sorry to say, it appears to me things have changed but little between now and then.

In wartime, those with wealth, influence and connections show themselves remarkably adept at maneuvering themselves into safe, rear-echelon military tasks if indeed they do even serve at all. American elite types, if you please, are not and never have been particularly renowned for their conspicuous presence in the combat zone. This is left to anonymous, nondescript and dejected young men of limited means and prospects. They embrace and serve whoever or whatever displays genuine interest in them, such as maybe the U.S. armed forces in times of war.

Dennis P. Roberts


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