I very much appreciate that VVA spearheaded the effort for the Vietnam Memorial in Boise, but for me it’s too little, too late. Paraphrasing MLK, respect delayed is respect denied. I wonder how many veterans of other wars had to raise money for their own memorials like the now-defunct Idaho Vietnam Veterans Association, who worked to raise the funds to have the names of Idaho veterans inscribed on the wall in Washington, D.C.?
Does this all sound like I’m cynical and bitter? Damn right I am. Want to honor Vietnam vets? Then let’s start giving Iraq and Afghanistan war vets the care and benefits they have earned and not make them fight for everything like we did. And most of all, stop sending our men and women to fight and suffer and die in stupid unnecessary wars started by corrupt, sociopathic politicians to benefit their pals in the military industrial complex. I can’t speak for other Vietnam vets, but I would take that as the most respectful and compassionate legacy I can imagine for my service.
Tim Teater, Boise