VVAW: Vietnam Veterans Against the War
About VVAW
Contact Us
Image Gallery
Upcoming Events
Vet Resources
VVAW Store


Page 44
Download PDF of this full issue: v54n1.pdf (43 MB)

<< 43. Lyndon: In a Winter of Our Discontent45. Letter to the Editor >>

Letter to the Editor

By N. W. Barcus

[Printer-Friendly Version]

I graduated from high school in Deer Lodge, Montana, in 1969. Few of my classmates went directly from high school to college. The young men were draftable. I went to the University of Washington in Seattle. Most of my friends were from Washington cities and suburbs. Most of their friends went directly to college. This was the time of campus anti-war demonstrations. When many demonstrators saw someone in uniform, they yelled epithets like "baby killer." Maybe people from affluent suburbs believed everyone who went to Vietnam wanted to go. I knew better, but I yelled epithets right along with them. I have felt terrible guilt about that. I became a lifetime member of VVAW to try to make up for it in some small way.

During the Iraq War, a Seattle newspaper ran brief stories about young men from the Seattle area who had been killed there. Universally, they were from poor neighborhoods. Universally, they were from single-mother homes. Universally, their mothers said they joined the service to get training in a skill they could use in civilian life or to get money for college. These were not gung-ho soldiers. They were disadvantaged kids trying to find a way out of poverty. It made me sad that, once again, the burden of war fell on the least affluent.

I appreciate the opportunity to heal that VVAW gives to veterans of all wars through its publications and charity work. And also the opportunity it has given me to make amends.

N. W. Barcus

<< 43. Lyndon: In a Winter of Our Discontent45. Letter to the Editor >>