Most of you know I don’t much believe in the protest movement, especially while you have Troops in the field. But, There is one protest I am very active in. The one that involves how the Great Republican establishment and Department of Veteran Affairs have treated the best America had to offer. I am writing this because I want YOU, my fellow voters, mad and angry when you go to the polls on Tuesday. I want this burned into your mind, And I want you to let others know about it! This is my friend JR’s Story. It is a true story, a factual story which I asked permission to write although I am withholding by request my friends name. You ask me why we need people like Heath Shuler in NC-11& Larry Kissell in NC-8 elected. This story should tell you. I remember back to growing up in the 60's & 70's. I can’t remember Jr and I ever not being best of friends. We were always close even before & after he went to Vietnam. He is an US Marine Veteran of the infamous TET Offensive of 1968. Jr did like many Vietnam vets, He came home, worked, got married & raised children. The American Dream. Sure he had good times & bad times just like the rest of us did. But it always seemed that when one of our group had a problem, we all had a problem. Jr was always as healthy as the proverbial mule! Then one day a few years back, MR. PTSD came to visit with Jr. It along with several other problems started to take their toll.. Now days, my friend suffers from a degenterive spinal disease along with nerve ending trouble and PTSD.It truly hurt’s me to see my once proud friend in the condition that the Great & Powerful Department of Veteran Affairs has left him in! Over the years, many government officials have promised us many things. We have seen few come to bare fruit. They have promised us much but denied us much! And Charles Taylor and Liz Dole are both cut from the very same mold. Oh, They act and promise us help but when the time comes, They don’t want to help, They forget us completely! You cannot call Charles Taylor & Liz Dole or the VA.The folks on the other end seemed to have a “No Care” attitude. Do you know what it is like to have to watch your friend go from someone who is totally healthy and deteriorate too only being able to get around with the use of a walker? To have to sit and watch him while he tries’ but can’t even hold his head up and look you in the eye and his speech is slurred? Still no word or help from anyone he had contacted in Government! Now, All I can do is sit and watch my friend suffer from what they have done to him. Please allow me to draw on some thing’s John Kerry said when testifying, April 22, 1971 United States Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, Washington, D.C.
Senator J. W. Fulbright (Chairman) presiding. Present: Senators Fulbright, Symington, Pell, Aiken, Case and Javits Sen. Fullbright: The committee is continuing this morning its hearing on proposals relating to the ending of the war in Southeast Asia. This morning the committee will hear testimony from Mr. John Kerry and, if he has any associates, we will be glad to hear from them. These are men who have fought in this unfortunate war in Vietnam. I believe they deserve to be heard and listened to by the Congress and by the officials in the executive branch and by the public generally. You have a perspective that those in the Government who make our Nation's policy do no always have and I am sure that your testimony today will be helpful to the committee in its consideration of the proposals before us. I would like to add simply on my own account that I regret very much the action of the Supreme Court in denying the veterans the right to use the Mall. (Applause) Sen. Kerry:I would like to talk to you a little bit about what the result is of the feelings these men carry with them after coming back from Vietnam. The country doesn't know it yet, but it has created a monster, a monster in the form of millions of men who have been taught to deal and to trade in violence, and who are given the chance to die for the biggest nothing in history; men who have returned with a sense of anger and a sense of betrayal which no one has yet grasped. As a veteran and one who feels this anger, I would like to talk about it. We are angry because we feel we have been used in the worst fashion by the administration of this country. In 1970 at West Point, Vice President Agnew said "some glamorize the criminal misfits of society while our best men die in Asian rice paddies to preserve the freedom which most of those misfits abuse" and this was used as a rallying point for our effort in Vietnam. But for us, as boys in Asia, whom the country was supposed to support, his statement is a terrible distortion from which we can only draw a very deep sense of revulsion. Hence the anger of some of the men who are here in Washington today. It is a distortion because we in no way consider ourselves the best men of this country, because those he calls misfits were standing up for us in a way that nobody else in this country dated to, because so many who have died would have returned to this country to join the misfits in their efforts to ask for an immediate withdrawal from South Vietnam, because so many of those best men have returned as quadriplegics and amputees, and they lay forgotten in Veterans' Administration hospitals in this country which fly the flag which so many have chosen as their own personal symbol. And we can not consider ourselves America's best men when we are ashamed of and hated what we were called on to do in Southeast Asia.We watched the U.S. falsification of body counts, in fact the glorification of body counts. We listened while month after month we were told the back of the enemy was about to break. We fought using weapons against "oriental human beings," with quotation marks around that. We fought using weapons against those people which I do not believe this country would dream of using were we fighting in the European theater or let us say a non-third-world people theater, and so we watched while men charged up hills because a general said that hill has to be taken, and after losing one platoon or two platoons they marched away to leave the high for the reoccupation by the North Vietnamese because we watched pride allow the most unimportant of battles to be blown into extravaganzas, because we couldn't lose, and we couldn't retreat, and because it didn't matter how many American bodies were lost to prove that point. And so there were Hamburger Hills and Khe Sanhs and Hill 881's and Fire Base 6's and so many others. The hospitals across the country won't, or can't meet their demands. It is not a question of not trying. They don't have the appropriations. A man recently died after he had a tracheotomy in California, not because of the operation but because there weren't enough personnel to clean the mucous out of his tube and he suffocated to death. Another young man just died in a New York VA hospital the other day. A friend of mine was lying in a bed two beds away and tried to help him, but he couldn't. He rang a bell and there was nobody there to service that man and so he died of convulsions. I understand 57 percent of all those entering the VA hospitals talk about suicide. Some 27 percent have tried, and they try because they come back to this country and they have to face what they did in Vietnam, and then they come back and find the indifference of a country that doesn't really care, that doesn't really care.
Do you need further proof? Do you need to be angered further, convinced to do what is right? Sen. Kerry recently made the following statement;
It was 1971 – twelve years after the first American died in what was then South Vietnam, seven years after Lyndon Johnson seized on a small and contrived incident in the Tonkin Gulf to launch a full-scale war—and three years after Richard Nixon was elected president on the promise of a secret plan for peace. We didn’t know it at the time, but four more years of the War in Vietnam still lay ahead. These were years in which the Nixon administration lied and broke the law—and claimed it was prolonging war to protect our troops as they withdrew—years that ultimately ended only when politicians in Washington decided they would settle for a “decent interval” between the departure of our forces and the inevitable fall of Saigon.
Do your history folks! What happened under Nixon? Well for starters, The infamous “Operation Linebacker,” The total all out bombing of North Vietnam. Also during this time he sent more AC-130 Gunships , “Puff the Magic Dragon” to Thai Air Bases and Vietnam Airbases. The corrupt Republicans prolonged the war! They profited of the war as they do now. Look at Dick Cheney & Haliburton! Chuckie Taylor & Lizzy Dole are so crooked & corrupt a snake couldn’t even crawl in their path! It would make even it dizzy! So come Tuesday, I want you to remember all of this. Remember the Republican corruption we have been putting up with. If you want to make a protest statement then join me in making one against the GOP & the VA. I know Heath Shuler personally, he is true to his word and his word will stand the test of time! He is as honest as they come! And he DOES care deeply about what is happening to us veterans! From what all of you have told me of Larry Kissell I have the feeling he is the very same type of person! Remember, This is our time, It is our war against corruption! Lets join together & take back the 11th & 8th Districts!