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B. T. Collins

March 30, 1993

I was one of those "19-year-old infantry soldiers" that B. T. use to like to talk about when he spoke of the Vietnam War. In fact, I served in the same Army Division as B.T.

Until I met B.T., I did not know how to feel about Vietnam. I had given an important part of myself to my country and nobody would even say "thank you." Then I met Collins. He was dumbfounded when he heard that we had both been in the same outfit. He treated me like a lost brother.

Many of us felt robbed of our pride and derided for our honor after Vietnam. But B.T. wouldn't allow that to happen. He spoke of us in endearing terms at every opportunity and yet he obviously lost more in Vietnam than most the rest of us who survived the war. My wife listened to B.T. give a speech one night and afterward she said to me on the way home, "Now I understand."

KEN WILLIS

Upland

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