Union Democrat staff

Vietnam vets, true heroes

To the editor:

Putting flowers in gun barrels is risky business. I don't recommend it unless you are young at heart, vivacious and generally of the opposite sex of the person holding the gun. Concerning those who fought in Vietnam, part of the reason was to defend the citizen's right to vocalize his or her dissent.

The fight I don't believe was for the country, but rather for the constitution. Many of you, upon returning to the homeland, recognized in the "counter culture" the epitome of what you had been fighting for. There is no right or wrong if the truth is not part of the equation. Anyone can live a lie but few are prepared to sacrifice all for truth, liberty and justice.

To say we lost in Viet Nam is a misnomer. They didn't hand out medals, however, for the true victory. Let's not bury that. After all, the truth is you who fought in Vietnam helped win that victory for all of us. You all truly are heroes. You just never wanted to accept it. As testimony to that, over 8.5 million Americans claim to have fought in combat in Vietnam. The stats say there were 3 million in country and about half of them engaged in combat over the course of the war. Those who didn't fight will probably want to say that the anti-war movement was about more than just the war. It wasn't.

Welcome Home. I hope you can still tell fact from fiction. The fact is that scars almost always never completely fade. But don't ask me, try asking Ron Kovic.

Mark Johnson


Editor's note: Ron Kovic is an anti-war activist, Vietnam veteran and writer who was paralyzed in the Vietnam War, best known as author of the memoir, "Born on the Fourth of July," which was made into an Academy Award winning movie.

Elect real people

To the editor:

An open letter to Mr. Obama, U.S. Congressmen and Senators.

Watching the news, it's become quite apparent to me that all of you (collectively) are more concerned with pleasing unions, primarily, and corporations and high dollar sources of funding for your next "run" at being a career politician. May I remind all of you that you were sent to office to do "the peoples' business?"

Out of the 500-plus of you, only a handful are worth a damn. Where is your character, your courage, your sense of dignity, your sense of doing what's right for your constituents and the American people? Have you all become so jaded and corrupt by the power and the perks that come with your position? Your lack of concern for the people of this country makes me sick. Your only real concern is to be re-elected. How pathetic. How sad. I hope there's a real house cleaning next election.

The American public needs to focus on electing real people, people from the business sector, people who have been able to work and make a living. Not lawyers (as most all of you are) or career politicians who have had their snouts in the public trough all their lives.

Sean Le May


Faith restored

To the editor:

On March 15, after shopping, I left my purse in a shopping cart at the lower Save Mart (on Stockton Road) and drove home. It was one of those "on a dead run days." To say the least, panic, sickness and madness (at myself) set in, when I realized what I had done. I sped back to Save Mart, where, to my surprise, a nameless gentleman had turned it in.

You have renewed my faith. There are still honest people out there. We tend to only hear about the bad. This was a happy ending.

It's been a rough year for me. I think this would have pushed me over the edge. Thank you kind gentleman from the bottom of my heart, whoever you are. I just can't thank you enough. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Janice Lewellen


Wrong school blamed

To the Editor:

The amount of misinformation in "From the Readers" is amazing. The latest example is Richard A. Eller's letter of March 11 in which he states: "I watched as University of San Francisco and University of California Berkeley-sanctioned buses carried college students to San Francisco International Airport."

I was a student at USF in 1968, and I never saw or heard of buses being used to transport USF students to a demonstration against our troops. In fact, I was an ROTC student for four years, and the ROTC students were always treated with respect. Ultimately, as a U.S. Army officer, I saw some of the disrespect that Mr. Eller says that he experienced, but it was never at USF or by its student body.

Numerous times in the '60s USF was mistaken for the other university in San Francisco - San Francisco State. Perhaps that's the school that sanctioned the buses.

I have a challenge for Mr. Eller. If he can prove that the University of San Francisco sanctioned the bus, then I will donate $100 to Vietnam Veterans of America. If he cannot prove it, then perhaps he will donate $100.

Larry Russell

Twain Harte

Sorely mistaken

To the editor:

This is in responase to William Freeze's March 19 letter.

I am so sorry that you have to shop with us low-income folks down at the WallyMart. It must bring great shame to have to be seen in the same company as us folks. Am I the only one who is a bit offended by this letter?

I don't think anyone wants to work for minimum wage and no benifits, sir. And if you think these higher-end stores are going to offer anything better to these workers, you are sorely mistaken.

I shop at Wal-mart. I also shop at various other stores in our county. I have lived in Tuolumne County my entire life. I have friends that make a lot of money and friends that don't. I love all of them and would never be ashamed to go shopping with them - even at the WallyMart.

Tammy Johnson