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Lakeview is the most patriotic place I have ever lived. In this country we pride ourselves with our freedom of speech.

We say that we fight wars to be free. How unpopular would it be, if I wrote, “we mindlessly send our kids to senseless wars and say it is for freedom?”

We lost 52, 242 kids of my age in the Vietnam Police Action while we murdered three million Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians. I am only talking dead bodies.

On my way back home, in Okinawa, I can clearly visualize looking down at the VFW table and telling the misguided and frightened individual that I would not want to be reminded of what I had just done for the past year.

To this day, I will never set foot in a VFW.

I will never understand Vietnam era non-combat Vets telling me about their post- traumatic stress and benefits.

I have combat Vietnam Vets telling me that they deserve money because their lives have been complicated by war. They too, want me to feel sorry for them. They have to eat my words when I tell them, “They are not more Vietnam crazy than I am.”

I am on the same page as movie maker Oliver Stone when he talks about our country not learning anything from Vietnam when we started the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I remember by neighbor proudly telling me he voted for President George W. Bush for the second term. He had no idea what I was talking about when I told him, “You just voted for four more bloody years of killing our kids in senseless crusades.”

I clearly knew what I was doing in Vietnam was wrong. I am a conscious objector that was too patriotic to go to Canada when I was drafted.

No blood money for me, Semper Fi, anyway.

Please, don’t the rest of you folks talk like this. Your freedom of speech does not extend into this arena, unless you have been there. It would be unpatriotic of you.

Bradford A. Augustine

Crooked Creek

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