By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Gary Fouse—a retired federal narcotics cop who never fought in a war and writes the blog Patriot's Corner—took the first opportunity to ask a question and delivered an oral blow to Stone, who earned a Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his repeated combat bravery in Vietnam. "I seem to feel that maybe your experiences turned you against your country in many ways," Fouse said. "And I just wonder if you've ever considered that if it were not for the United States of America and specifically its military, I don't think that there would be a country in the world living in freedom today."
Because of microphone problems in the auditorium, an expressionless Stone couldn't hear the remark, and Fouse, who stood in the back of the room, continued, "I'd just like to say to the young audience here that in spite of what you've seen in this one-sided presentation, and in spite of our mistakes and the dark chapters in our history, which we acknowledge, which, you know, we're making mistakes today, this is still a great country, and I think it deserves your support and your loyalty."
Stone isn't easily rattled. Questioning his patriotism is always the first move of his critics. He called the Showtime presentation a "visual poem to a country that I love—loved [his emphasis] when I was a young man. . . . [The U.S. has] lost our goal, and that is what this whole series is about. . . . I wish to God we can turn it around. And that's why we did these things, and that's why we're here today among you, trying to remind you that we were and still can be a great country."