Atrocities in Vietnam were a reality and Kerry had courage to talk about them |

Atrocities in Vietnam were a reality and Kerry had courage to talk about them

Tom ParsonsU.S. Army vetLakeview Meadows

I have been silent until now regarding those who use the media to attack John Kerry because of what he said about atrocities committed by GI’s during the war in Vietnam. I am willing to bet that the majority of those decrying what he said are indignant because he violated the “don’t tell” code. The latest attack came recently in this paper in a Sept. 8 letter. Those who served in ground combat units in ‘Nam know with certainty that the types of atrocities about which Kerry gave testimony to Congress happened with disturbing frequency. These were actions which few of us back home were, or are, ready to accept as something which our brother, or father or son could possibly do. As a psychotherapist who worked with returning ‘Nam vets, I can verify that some of the cases of post-traumatic stress disorder that I treated were directly the result of actions taken by them in ‘Nam or of actions taken by others and witnessed by my patients.These were experiences that were both unforgettable and that went against their sense of morality and awareness of what was right.It was to their credit that these veterans were struggling with what they experienced, were back in touch with their basic values and were searching to become whole again. War brings out the worst in mankind. The psychological after-effects are lasting.It took courage for Kerry to speak out against the “don’t tell” code when he returned from ‘Nam. I expect him to find that courage to do what is right when elected president.

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