What lessons did you learn in Vietnam?

The lesson I learned was of the deep immorality of that war. We were misled into that war, not to mention the way my brothers and I were treated upon our return home from the war, especially the hospitals, which were overcrowded, infested with rats and understaffed. Our government was spending millions on the most technically advanced methods of killing people, but weren’t able to take care of the wounded. Now, when our young men and wounded come back from Iraq they are facing similarly slum conditions.

What should America be doing to “win” the war on terror?

Without shock and awe, without bombing, we have to find an alternative or we are going to have more and more problems. We need to change this policy. We need to seriously look at the way our government is behaving in our name. I take it very personally. I made a promise never to let what happened to me happen to anyone else again. I hope Barack Obama recognizes that sending more troops to Afghanistan is counter-productive. How many more Americans have to die for this failed foreign policy or come home in wheelchairs like myself? It will only get worse if we continue along the same path. One of the most patriotic things an American can do right now is to raise your voice and not be afraid. Many of us were paralyzed by 9/11 and we need to speak, go out on the street peacefully in the spirit of Martin Luther King and Gandhi. Let us make a change that really goes directly to the issues we are dealing with—war and peace—and put this country first. If you really do that, you will not waste any more lives in a war that makes no sense.

 

nschou@ocweekly.com

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