IT COULD MAKE YOU SCREAM – AT 10:37 A.M. ET: Well, finally, Vietnam vets are getting some respect in Wisconsin. Please read:
MADISON - When Jim Kurtz returned to Madison in 1967, he saw how strong the anti-war feelings were and decided not to talk about his years as an Army officer in Vietnam.
He went to work for state government not knowing that many of his co-workers were keeping the same secret. Kurtz discovered how much they had in common when he read their obituaries.
"You go to war and it's the single dominant experience you've had, but you don't talk about it," Kurtz said. "People I worked with closely for 20 years, and we never talked about it because in Madison, being a veteran was just not the thing to be."
Imagine that. Not the thing to be. Of course, it's Madison, which thrives on its chic left-wing culture. Notice the contributions to the nation.
After serving in Vietnam in the 1960s and early 1970s, Kurtz and other veterans returned home to a country torn apart by mounting death tolls, reports of atrocities and revelations of government lies. In Madison, the anti-war movement was among the biggest and loudest in the country, and many veterans who re-entered civilian life here kept their heads down.
I'd have some hesitation about sweeping statements regaring "government lies." I'm sure there were lies, but they were nothing compared to the lies and misinformation spread by the other side, and by some arrogant, irresponsible journalists, including Walter Cronkite, whose famous video editorial from Vietnam has turned out to be almost completely wrong.
So it's a measure of how attitudes have changed that thousands of Vietnam veterans are expected to attend LZ Lambeau in Green Bay next weekend, an event designed to publicly express overdue thanks for their service, said lead organizer Don Jones of Madison.
"I can't count the number of veterans who've said this is the first time that anybody had ever mentioned the word 'thank you' to them," Jones said.
Wonderful. Finally. As far as attitudes changing, I'm not sure that's true of the old sixties crowd, which still resides in the woodwork of Madison. But we have a 9-11 generation that at least understands the sacrifices of our forces.
May 23, 2010