I find it odd that there is a public outcry against the president having called our current war veterans "suckers" and "losers." I recall a time when the general public of the United States hurled considerably more venomous epithets at the war-weary veterans returning from 12 months of horrific experiences in the jungles of Vietnam.
I disembarked from the bus carrying me from McCord Air Force Base to the terminal at Seattle-Tacoma airport in July 1970. I did not suffer the ignominies that many of my comrades had to endure while traveling to our hometowns. I do remember that no one looked at me or spoke to me during my trip while in uniform, from Seattle through Denver to Kansas City. I did receive a hug from my parents at the gate in K.C.
It is especially galling to me, when claiming my veteran’s discount from the cashier, to be greeted with a cheery "Thank you for your service." She has no idea of the memories of coming home that are stoked by her remark. Memories that cannot, and will not be erased.
I do not claim the outrage for myself, but for my fellow veterans who deserved better. I made a vow to myself that when my two sons reached the age of military service, I would advise them not to be "suckers" or "losers." Fortunately, when that time arrived, I could not deny them that most noble form of service.
Karl Landis, Grantville