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Vietnam vets in Iraq? Sound off

January 24, 2007

Re "Apocalypse again," Current, Jan. 21

Paul Whitefield proposes that men from the Vietnam War era be sent to Iraq, but he focuses on the wrong group. Send those who escaped the draft through deferrals. The first to go: those who never served, voted for President Bush and supported this war. Vietnam War veterans may have their Harleys, but these other warriors have their own Hummers, are in great shape and, if they finally did their share, could stop running marathons. Vietnam War vets will put on the parade.

LOU A. INSPRUCKER

La Canada Flintridge

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We of the 133rd Engineers from Portland, Maine, and many other National Guard units across the country are well aware of the skills of Vietnam War veterans. They were with us; every National Guard unit sent to the Middle East has its share of veterans. We valued their experience, their dedication to duty and, above all, their willingness to teach the rest of us what the whole mess was all about. They had been there before.

I was 58 when we got the call to go to Iraq. I managed not only to carry on with my duties as a supervisor in maintenance management but also to act as a grandfather to many of the younger troops, as did the rest of us "geezers." As I told many of my friends after the year spent in Mosul, I'm glad I went because now I have a right to criticize, as do the rest of us who have seen, and will see again, service in our latest war.

JOSEPH M. KOLKO

Portland, Maine

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As a Vietnam War veteran, I found Whitefield's "Modest Proposal" extremely offensive; talk about looking down your nose at a group of men who served their country. And no, most Vietnam War veterans do not drive Harleys and keep an arsenal in their closet. I had friends who died fighting for a country that called them to service, while some at home spit on them.

Regardless of those in the media who shame those who served in Vietnam, I am proud of my service and proud of those who served with me.

DAN BALL

Lomita

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