This week, people around the area will get the chance to see The Traveling Wall, a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and read the names of Vietnam veterans who lost their lives fighting a war in which many refused to participate.
As we older generation knew, some people during the Vietnam War years chose to join the National Guard and Reserves to lower their chances of going to Vietnam. To be interred at Arlington, which is only for Veterans, you must have served on active duty. To get Veterans benefits from the Veterans Affairs, you must have served on active duty. But to have your name on the Miles Township Veterans Monument, active duty service is not a requirement. They have little if any respect for those who fought in Vietnam. They even went so far as to remove an etched star that they had beside the names of the Vietnam veterans. Everyone is now listed as Vietnam-era Veterans, even the people who were never saw any active duty.
To not recognize those who went to Vietnam and then honor equally those who didn’t want to go and place them all under the “Vietnam-era veteran” category is ignorant and disrespectful. There is a difference. Go to the Vietnam wall or Arlington if you want to see the names of real veterans.
Jim Hironimus, White Hall, Md.