SERVED IN KOREA
John T. Jones, Ph.D. | Buhl, ID | January 05, 2015
I served in 1951-52 in the Korean War, a so-called "police action." The American people had just closed WWII and they had no room for another war where their younger children could be killed or maimed. The Korean War is called "The Forgotten War," but it wasn't forgotten by America, it was ignored. We fought with junk from WWII, our radios didn't work -- the good ones were in Europe -- our trucks were crap (we captured two good Lend Lease Russian trucks which the army took from us), the clothing we needed for winter was slow in coming, ammunition was limited.
When I got home, most people didn't even know I had been in Korea, and couldn't have cared less. Unlike the Vietnam vets who were spat upon, we were just ignored. Nowadays, big corporations are always harping on how they love vets. Bull on "Thank you for your service." Everybody is saying it, some sincerely, but it is not needed. I prefer being ignored. There is only one reason why vets are honored now. it is because of the Veteran's organizations who held Veterans Day programs in high school auditoriums and parks.
For some time large restaurant chains have been feeding vets on Veterans Day. I missed once at the Golden Coral in Twin Falls and the manager noted that and gave me his card saying I was to be fed the next time I came in. This year I ate at Denny's, where you have to pay for the drink. The vet next to me, a regular army vet, paid for my drink. I could have eaten ten meals in Twin Falls that day, as everybody is feeding the vets nowadays. That is better than, "Thank you for your service!" Maybe someday we will be able to get a significant discount on a Toyota. But I don't expect the big corporations will start giving handouts to vets unless they see there is big money in that.
I don't know of any war since WWII that was actually protecting the American public. We were not fighting for America in Korea. I have gone back to Korea a couple of times, and the Korean people have always honored me. Why? Because that was who I was fighting for. Most of our military in Korea knew nothing about Korean heritage and history. Most were drafted, like in the Vietnam War, and just wanted to get home. It is true that we fought for each other. So now, we are all heroes because the propaganda says so. We are Big Business. Corporations have taken over sports, even college sports, and they have taken over us. Now, how are we doing with wounded returning vets crippled for life, some flat on their backs for years on end? The American people are asked to help these vets. I refuse. The government got these people maimed for life while playing their stupid war games. If I have to pay for it, that is where I want my tax money to go. Yes, I'm an angry old man in Idaho.
DID THE JOB
David Huntington | Katy, TX | January 05, 2015
I too, am a Viet Nam era vet. I spent my time in the Air Force (which I joined to avoid the draft) in Texas and Germany. I am uncomfortable with people that thank me for my service. I signed on, to do a job, for pay, I did the job, got paid, and do not feel that I did anything that merits a "Thank you."
WHAT IS A HERO?
Mike Meloy | Long Beach, WA | January 05, 2015
Re NAILED IT: "I'm not a hero." What is a hero? Someone who does the right thing at deep personal risk. As a Nam Vet, you did your duty. (Your Purple Heart shows that you paid a higher price than most.) There were those who, through cowardice or circumstance, evaded theirs. As a Viet Nam Era Vet, I have to concede that by that same definition, some of those (likely quite few) who fled to Canada were also heroes, heroes who have had to live with the same bittersweet combination of pride and doubt that what they did actually was "the right thing." So, politics, morality, and the opinions of the ignorant aside, when your country called on you, you put it all out there and fulfilled your obligations. So what if you survived? You are still a hero!
Rev. Dr. Bob Faser | Hobart, AUSTRALIA | January 04, 2015
I'm not a veteran, but I'm the son, grandson, and brother-in-law of veterans. Today's strip speaks to me about the dilemma faced by people in many western nations following the military fiascos of the decades since the 1960s. On the one hand, we don't want to endorse the stupid political decisions that led to these wars. On the other hand, we don't want to repeat the destructive public demonization of those who served in the military, such as happened with Vietnam veterans (both in the U.S. and here in Oz). As a result, there will be awkward moments -- as depicted so well by GBT today.
Matt Vongehr | Clovis, CA | January 04, 2015
A true satirist is not partisan. Imagine how many more readers would appreciate Doonesbury if it highlighted both sides of an issue. Today's strip insulted our soldiers, including men and women who are receiving pink slips in the war zone. "Uncomfortable, anxious, depressed" does not begin to describe how our friends and family members feel, when the President haphazardly withdraws troops and releases monsters from Gitmo to return to the battlefield and terrorize the world. Mr. Trudeau needs to work much harder to show the irony and danger of our elected officials' twisted motives and deadly decisions.
Art Seaton | Spokane, WA | January 04, 2015
I too, have felt uncomfortable every time I am thanked for my service. My wife has prodded me to accept it as a sign of an appreciative nation. But can I? I am a Vietnam era vet of the Coast Guard. The only foreign port I saw in eight and a half years of "service" is Vancouver B.C. I went into the Coast Guard because as a former user of marijuana, I was not moral enough to join the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marine Corps. My service was, in part, participating in the rescue of Congressmen who did not believe that small-craft warnings applied to them. I am thanked for that? When I explain the above, the response is to assure me that I still served and to thank me anyway. I wonder if the current trend to thank us "for our service" isn't just a nation with a guilty conscience trying to apologize without admitting guilt...or responsibility.
Roger Miller | Nathrop, CO | January 04, 2015
B.D.'s comments about being a vet mirror my thoughts exactly. As a Viet Nam vet I don't understand why 45 years later people want to thank me for my service. I don't think we did anything good for the country, most of us just got caught up in the wash and did what we were forced to do. But, as I always say, I don't think we let one Viet Cong get past Hawaii.
Thomas Shoesmith | New York, NY | January 04, 2015
Gratitude for the Iraq war? Not likely, but as Lt.Gen. Harold Moore wrote of Vietnam, let's not confuse the war with the men and women who were ordered to fight it.
Jim McDade | Pensacola, FL | January 04, 2015
You nailed it with today's piece. I'm a Viet Nam vet with a Purple Heart and PTSD, and I always feel uncomfortable when someone thanks me for my service. This piece gives me a proper way to react from now on. I'm not a hero and I don't want or need to be thanked. All I did was what my country insisted I do as a citizen. That's not heroism!
WHAT VETS DESIRE
Craig Baumberger | Greenville, IL | January 04, 2015
What Vets desire is not adulation but instead a reconnection with the world they left when they joined the military. Thanks for your extraordinary insight.
Tiger69 | Silverton, CO | December 30, 2014
I was at Princeton one year ahead of GBT at Yale. I feel like I have met or known, at one time or another, nearly every character in the strip. Many are friends. I have forgiven GBT for having chosen Y over P. His work has given me so much insight over the years that I consider him as easily the best cultural historian of our generation. But, even better than that, he makes me laugh. Live on, GBT, and continue to make us look at ourselves in perspective.
Antonio Velarde | Mexico City, MEXICO | December 29, 2014
A Cinzano ashtray ! I thought I would never see one again....
Mike Utzinger | Milwaukee, WI | December 29, 2014
I love reviewing world events that occurred early in my life in Classic Doonesbury. I was in graduate school when the Iran revolution occurred. I now have Iranian doctoral students. The details of the cartoons are excellent! We had cinder blocks supporting our shelves, but our TV was put away in a closet. Thanks for the memories.
J.H. | LA, CA | December 28, 2014
Seeing the strip for today, Sunday, December 28th, I wonder how far in advance of the publication date they are drawn.
The Sunday strips are completed and turned in to production five to six weeks before the publication date.
George | Jupiter, FLORIDA | December 27, 2014
With respect to The Interview, I've got to believe that agent Sid Kibbitz somehow has his hand in the greatest promo stunt ever.
Elizabeth B. | USA | December 26, 2014
My mom gave me books of the Mike-Zonker-B.D.-in-college years of Doonesbury to get me started, but these Classics are my introduction to the Doonesbury decades that I was too young to read or appreciate the first time around. You are a treasure.
Jeffrey Cleveland | Los Angeles, CA | December 24, 2014
I just want to thank you for being an important part of my life. I've been an avid fan since the '60s. I have learned so much about politics and I have laughed my ass off. Doonesbury is really something special.
p.s. I cried when B.D. lost his leg.
THIRTY YEARS AGO
Barb | Bend, OR | December 23, 2014
Flashback, thirty years ago today: The secret of Zonker's eternal youth revealed!
Fiona | North Wales, UK | December 19, 2014
This week's trip down memory lane has really reminded me that I really don't like J.J. and she never did change. What did Mike ever see in her.