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Vietnam War Draft Dodgers

February 28, 1988

I deeply resent the tone of your article concerning the hundreds of thousands of young Americans who avoided the draft during the Vietnam War. The use of the label "draft dodger" implies that these men (myself included) were trying to avoid "serving their country" by deviously "shirking their duty."

In fact, they not only served their consciences, but served America at a much higher level than those who, either out of ignorance or simple bellicosity, went to Vietnam, precisely because of their refusal to kill people who were never at any time a threat to American peace or security. The Vietnam War was as senseless a tragedy as this country has ever undergone, and the results prove it.

If everyone in America had acted as bravely as those called draft dodgers and had refused to be used as mercenaries (which is exactly what every American soldier in Vietnam was), over 58,000 men who needlessly died there would be alive today.

ROBERT CHAULS

Sherman Oaks

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