State treasurer wants to move on after incident at rally |

State treasurer wants to move on after incident at rally

It is time for me to set aside the deep resentment I have long harbored for some of those who were facing the draft and did not serve during Vietnam.

This resentment culminated in my walking off a stage where Rep. Tom Tancredo was speaking at a rally in support of our troops. It was purely an emotional response, and I have personally extended an apology to the congressman.

It is time to move on and close that painful chapter in American history. I will be a more effective leader for having done so. However, this does not mean that I will ever forget the heroism of those who served in Vietnam during such a difficult time in our nation’s history, nor the lessons learned from that war.

Although I was too young to serve in Vietnam, the war completely dominated my youth.

I came to Colorado in the summer of 1964. My father was an Army master sergeant who was transferred to Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center for his last assignment. I was 9 years old.

Fitzsimmons was a beautiful Army post with its quiet tree-lined streets and its manicured lawns, but it lost its innocent charm as the war in Vietnam escalated. By the late 1960s, severely wounded soldiers arrived at the hospital daily. They returned to a nation divided where so many of their contemporaries were opposed to the war and scorned their service to our country.

The experience of being around so many who had given so much taught me about the values of sacrifice, courage, duty, honor and country, but it also sowed the seeds of resentment and suspicion toward some of those who were called upon yet did not serve. It is time to move on, and today I have.

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