One, two, three, what are we fighting for?
The flap over John Kerry's military record prompts former war correspondent Neil Sheehan to examine how America's Vietnam wounds continue to fester. Sheehan, who clearly is a John Kerry supporter, offers an eloquent defense not only of Kerry but of an entire generation of soldiers who continue to be placed in a category apart from other veterans:
There is a way to honestly confront the reality of Vietnam and yet still honor the men who fought there. One must learn to distinguish between the war and the warrior. It always galls me when I hear the generation of World War II referred to as the "greatest generation.'' They were a great generation, but so were the men who served in Vietnam. The soldiers and Marines, sailors and airmen who fought there did so with just as much courage as anyone who fought in World War II. The generation of Vietnam had the ill luck to draw a bad war, an unnecessary and unwinnable war, a tragic, terrible mistake. But valor has a worth of its own, and theirs deserves to be honored and remembered.
If only this could be the last word on the subject.