Why is it that the Puerto Rican soldier, who has fought alongside
our American comrades in every war and conflict, does not
receive the benefits and attention that veterans in the
States receive? Why, after so many years of asking for
a new VA hospital, do we still have to go to a hospital
that is obsolete and dangerous to our health because it
has been found to have asbestos and is not earthquake resistant?
of Puerto Rico are mistreated and misinformed. Sometimes
we are told that we cannot be treated in VA clinics or the
hospital. We need help from our comrades in the United States.
Please write your congressmen, and let them know how the
men who fought for this great nation are treated in Puerto
Rico. If the VA would conduct more inspections and keep pushing
the people here in Puerto Rico, we think things will change.
But, until then, we need support from our friends in the
José R. Valentin
President, Chapter 483
Yauco, Puerto Rico
I just read in the January/February issue that Randy Barnes
passed away. He really was a great guy. I met him years ago
at a VVA Convention, and we were on the same plane one year
flying back from D.C. I was also in the 25th Infantry Division,
not at the same time as Randy, but talked to him about his
He will truly be missed by all in Vietnam Veterans of America
for all he did for VVA, for veterans nationally, and for
those of us in the 25th Division Association.
Roger A. McGill
A ROARING SUCCESS
I’m writing to say thank you for the wonderful article
in the November/December issue on the 2006 Chapel of Four
Chaplains ceremony and dinner last September. I’ve
received many, many emails and telephone calls about the
article. I sincerely appreciate your hard work and your caring
enough to make our day a roaring success.
A total of 103 people
attended the ceremony. AVVA presented a $1,000 check to the
Chapel. I look forward to the 10th annual ceremony on September
9 in Cape May.
Paul L. Sutton
Trustee, Chapel of Four Chaplains
Ocean View, New Jersey
DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY II
I would like to respond to the letter “Duty, Honor,
Country” in the January/February issue. The writer
has a problem not only with other veterans, but with himself.
I would like to address his concerns.
He mentions the media
for reporting veterans as whiners, losers, and baby killers.
The only publications in which I’ve ever read this
were on the extreme right. The celebration of Doonesbury
and Oliver Stone, I believe, is warranted. Both Doonesbury
and Oliver Stone have correctly portrayed what has happened
and is still happening.
As to the Medal of Honor recipient,
this person is an American. He has the rights afforded under
the Constitution to free speech. No, the Medal of Honor recipient
is not the Dixie Chicks. But, as with the Dixie Chicks, he
has the right to express himself.
The letter writer does not
have the right to dictate his philosophies to others. If
the writer has a problem with free speech, then it might
be that he should move to another part of the world where
speech is suppressed. I see from his writing that he is a
very angry and guilt-ridden individual. Other veterans do
not need an attitude adjustment; the letter writer does.
Veterans from all wars do stand proudly for duty, honor,
Boynton Beach, Florida
OTHERS OF SIGNIFICANCE
I, as a significant other to my U.S.M.C. retired man for
some 23 years, wish to voice my concerns on behalf of others
who might feel the same way I do. I feel our government owes
us some type of funds. I have considered myself like a wife
and his children’s mother. I’ve been through
the bad and good every day and every night for the last 23
years. We live in the same house, sleep together, and eat
together. I’ve helped him when he’s had flashbacks
from Vietnam. I am there to see that he keeps his doctors’ appointments
and takes his medications.
If there are other significant
others who feel as I do, voice your opinion as I have. I’m
tired of sitting on the outside looking in. I also want counselors
let us into their sessions to know that this is wrong. You,
too, are pushing us away.
Shirley M. Martinez
Auburn, New York
WHINERS, MY ASS
After scraping myself off of my wall while musing over Mr.
L. R. Harvey’s letter in the January/February issue,
I was reminded of why I read The VVA Veteran and a select
few publicly owned media publications. You folks are involved
in printing the word, regardless of view. Thank you.
you for always having had the courage to print the message,
to inform veterans that they can make differences on national
or local issues. Your message keeps many of us working with
hope—the hope that what is not can be,
and that veterans can join together, put our differences
aside, and get amazing things done.
Just read the pages of your own publication. I am truly proud
of the veterans I read about on these pages. Whiners, my
John C. Gordon
Big Bear City, California
I am the proud wife of a USMC 100 percent totally and permanently
disabled combat Vietnam veteran. He served two tours with
the 1/9, known as “The Walking Dead.” I always
make a point to thank veterans and tell them how grateful
I am for my freedom.
I would like to thank each and everyone
of you who have served and are still serving in the military
for my freedom and for all you’ve done and are still
doing for our country. I know you all have sacrificed so
much for me and our country. Words will never be able to
tell you all how grateful I am. You are my heroes.