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home : opinion : letters May 24, 2016

12/11/2013 6:00:00 AM
Letter: Don't judge Vietnam vets

Please take a good long look in the mirror before you spit and call somebody a baby killer. Our Vietnam vets were over in a country fighting a war where the enemy would send their children rigged with a grenade.

Here is my question to all of you who didn't serve: What would you do if a child came to you rigged with an explosive? How would you react?

Now we have abortion clinics making money by taking a life because someone didn't want the responsibility of taking care of a child. Please think about that before you judge Vietnam vets for killing babies. The veterans had one choice, kill or be killed, and that's what went on in Vietnam. They didn't like it anymore than you, so get over it!

Kenny Lee Barrows


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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, January 2, 2014
Article comment by: Skip Poole

I too am a veteran of the Viet Nam era, and yes the call of 'baby killer' has happily dimished.
Yet, like so many other of my brothers, I still have vivid memories of the vitriol espoused by the anti-war folks of the 60's and 70's.
At one time I even had a knife thrown at me...luckily it missed.
The problem of that time was we knew who the enemy was in 'Nam - but not so sure here at home!
Yeah, the memory lingers. Unless you experienced it, you can't know what it was like to be in service to your country and a section of the population wanted to see you dead.

Posted: Friday, December 20, 2013
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

The Viet Nam war was an atrocity for this country and those who served there under orders they could not refuse. It was all in the name of LBJ lining his pockets along with Haliburton. There's a story there and I've always believed that if J.F.K. had not been murdered that whole Viet thing would have been a very different turn out.
I know of some personal family rift between my Grandfather and his brother involving L.B.J.and Lady Bird. The brother went ahead became involved in business dealings with the Johnsons after my Papa and the brother divided the properties/business holdings. Papa then bought a ranch in N.M. leaving Texas. The brother's grandson still has two of the Smith farms and works neither now but, has his farm subsidies to live on as well as liquid assets passed down to him and his sister.

Posted: Friday, December 13, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“I'm sure you being a leftist stood in line to call our vets ‘Baby killers’ when they came home…”

How dare you make such an asinine statement? You have never met me and you do not know me and yet you presume to post that kind of crap?

When I returned from SE Asia with my Marine sidewalls no one called me a “baby killer” nor did anyone spit on me. I spent a week or so in the Haight/Ashbury area and met a lot of people who treated me well and asked questions about the war. Sure there were disagreements but I respected their positions and they mine.

I was horribly disillusioned about why I had been sent there and why so many of my comrades had died. But I felt we would never again become involved is such a quagmire – and then we wound up with a draft-dodging, convicted criminal being appointed to the White House and the next thing you know we’re embroiled in a Holy War. NO ONE ever wins a Holy War.

Out of curiosity, “Capt.” – how much combat did you see?

Posted: Friday, December 13, 2013
Article comment by: Wow Kenny

You must run with a hard core crowd. I havent heard baby killer since around 1976.

Every single one of the hundreds of thousands of enlisted people involved in Souteast Asia during the period were brave enough to face the unknown for reasons that were vague at best.

Hero's ....you bet.

Posted: Friday, December 13, 2013
Article comment by: Roy Leggett

I was one of the people who was called a "Baby Killer" and I guess it's true. A nine year old shot me and was going to shoot more people so I had no choice but to shoot him.I have to live with that for the rest of my life and live with the picture of being spit on and called names like 'baby killer.". Unless you were there or been in war, you need to stop commenting about something you know nothing about.becaise you have no idea what it's like.. Now most of the people who called us names are running our country, one being John Kerry. I can not see how the younger people can vote for a person that disrespects their father or grand-father, and it does not mater if they are democrat or republican.. This will probably be my last Christmas and my Christmas wish is to see the Democrats and Republicans write a letter without any name calling.

Posted: Friday, December 13, 2013
Article comment by: Uncle Anson

As a Viet Nam combat veteran, I think Kenny's comparison is is quite fair and spot on. Those that called me a baby killer are now the same ones that kill babies in a clinical environment which somehow, in their minds, makes it acceptable. Like a great many of our current politicians, they burned draft cards and yellow tailed it to Canada. In my mind, as demonstrated by his actions in that period of time, Clinton and his peers are the real criminals. The Viet Nam veteran is the only warrior in the history of the world to be sold out by their own generation.

AA "Lt Calley types". Do you have any idea of what actually happened there? I do and I know why.

Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

True American! I have not heard that term "screws" since some of the old James Cagney prison movies, why would anyone use such a term unless they have some thing in their past to truly be angry at government for?

Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Article comment by: THE TEA PARTY IS ON KOCH

You are so predictable captain. I was drafted in the late 60's and spent almost a year of my life in the Republic of Vietnam. The big thing in those days was people trying to stay out of the draft so they didn't have to go overseas. Do you think they were all democrats? You need to read up and see who stayed home and beat the draft. Start with the conservative congress. By the way I am not a democrat, I would have voted for Goldwater in '64 If I had been old enough, and John McCain is still a man I admire.

Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Article comment by: Nay Mama

I did not serve my country thru the military, and I thank any and all who have served and gone to war. War is not pretty, someone mentioned Syria, it is true that right now a child is being rigged to blow up themselves and as many others as they can.
It is my understanding that there are always child causalities in war. And with social media it brings the war home for us more.
We could say "What happens in the War stays in the war", but that doesn't work, we have to talk about it without judgement of men and women that as soldiers were/are following orders and trying to stay alive at the same time.
P.S. I will not go there with the Abortion issue, that is a whole other subject than soldiers having to kill babies to keep themselves alive.

Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Article comment by: Capt. Nice

Anson, don't you think using the word baby killer describing Vietnam vets and abortion clinics are fair game?
I'm sure you being a leftist stood in line to call our vets "Baby killers" when they came home but I doubt if you stand out in front of abortion clinics chanting the same thing.
Do you see the hypocrisy here....I guess baby killer isn't fair game when used describe leftists....right?
Our vets were ordered to kill or be killed, I sure don't see any threat to you by unborn babies.

Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“…the exact same people who are all for killing babies…they are marching for the right to kill their babies. ”

Whoa! Who’s for killing babies? Oh, wait, I forgot, that would be nutty Christians like the couple from Pennsylvania who – so far – have killed two of their kids over Christian religious claptrap.

Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Article comment by: True American

The Same Screws That Protested The Vietnam War, Are The Same Screws That Are Running The Country! (And It Shows How Pathetic They Were Then, And How Pathetic They Are Now!)

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: Joe F

Kenny, what on earth are you babbling about? When was the last time anyone used the term "baby killer" in reference to a Vietnam Veteran?

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: janice palmer

right Kenny. don't forget the youngsters who came at us carrying ak-47's and throwing grenades. also brandishing bayonets.

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: Roberta Martin

Many, many thanks for your service. Both of my brothers served in Vietnam - not
because they wanted to but to honor their country. And know matter how you personally felt about the war - no one has the right to mistreat those who served and now serve our country. They deserve our respect and thanks for their service.

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: Rick O'Shea

I agree, and you other vets, you know, the ones that don't expect their butts to be kissed simply because they chose to serve, well done and good job.

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: William Moorefield

[Comment exceeded word limit.]

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“Now we have abortion clinics making money by taking a life because someone didn't want the responsibility of taking care of a child.”

Pure hyperbole with absolutely no basis in fact. Why do righties constantly post such nonsense? And why bring up abortion in a letter dealing with Vietnam veterans?

And it should be pointed out that if you do not like abortion, don’t have one (oh, wait, you’re a dude) in all other cases mind you own business.

And one last point, could you tell us how a woman’s personal and private decision to undergo a legal medical procedure directing impacts your life?

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: pl .....

the war was based upon the Gulf of Tonkin incident lie. Period. It marked the end of America's gold standard, Social security funds criminally diverted to war and replaced with worthless IOUs (meaning future generations would be paying for the Vietnam War). Dissident leaders were murdered, the rest being churned into FBI files accumulated through massive rights violations. If anybody wanted to spit on others, spit on the government and military-industrial complex - kind of hard to do through bulletproof glass and cordons of Gestapo. If you missed the opportunity back then, start now. Those butchered & beheaded children in Syria would probably appreciate it.

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: Capt. Nice

Kenny the exact same people who are all for killing babies (abortion) are the ones who spit on our soldiers coming home from Vietnam and calling them baby killers.
These are the same people who are against the death penalty but across the street they are marching for the right to kill their babies.
Veterans did what they were ordered to do and to protect their lives and besides that it was a democrat that sent us to war in Vietnam.
I sure wish these hypocrites would look in a mirror and see how stupid they look!

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

A very famous civil war general said it was good war was so horrible or we might grow to love it to much! Sadly he had no idea of video drones and vague figures on a television screen, during my era the Vietnam era television brought the bloody brutal reality of war into everyone's home, today our government sanitizes it before we see it! Some of us who served did not kill children, women or old men, I served with all kinds, colors and types and not all were Lt. Calley types, yes they existed and I like the old saying god will sort them out in the end, doubt the Calley's will be finding it comfortable where they are headed unless they repent, what one did during war good, bad or ugly is between them and god and so it should be, forgiveness is only given if one asks for it, some will never feel the need to bad for them!

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: Still Around?

So, just who are still calling Vets baby killers? I thought that concept was dying a slow death and is now only said under the breath and in closed circles, just like racial discrimination?

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