Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Op-Ed Get ready for the next round in the battle over the Vietnam War



Machine gun at the ready, a paratrooper of the U.S. 82nd Airborne Brigade advances cautiously near Hue, South Vietnam, on April 3, 1968. (Associated Press)

James Reston Jr.

There are two Vietnam wars, and the second is still going 40 years after the first ended. The United States fought the first one from 1959 to 1975 in the jungles, villages and airspace of Indochina. The second is the war over how that war, the first lost war in America’s national history, is remembered. This month, as Ken Burns’ 10-part Vietnam documentary is aired on PBS, the second conflict is sure to heat up again with renewed intensity.

The positions will be fiercely argued. What was the war good for? Absolutely nothing, as the 1970 song put it? Or was it a heroic cause? The most important — and poignant — group who will offer answers to these questions is Vietnam veterans themselves.

They see themselves reflected, against the roll of the dead, on the black granite walls of Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, or in the faces of Frederick Hart’s evocative sculpture of three soldiers nearby.

Many who served came home and got on with their lives, whatever the wounds and scars of war. A more visible subset of aging warriors sits astride motorcycles in Veterans Day parades or stands in the median strips of our streets holding cardboard placards. They live their lives as war survivors. They ponder what might have been.

Those who served in Vietnam or resisted may never be considered members of a Greatest Generation, like World War II veterans.

Often, no matter how their lives have unfolded, Vietnam vets have a chip on their shoulder. They ask or wish that their patriotism, their service, be better recognized, even glorified: They stepped forward, regardless of the flawed rationale and conduct of the war, when hordes of other young men, especially the so-called best and brightest, avoided the unpleasantness altogether.

For those who avoided the draft and the danger, there is often a quiet guilt — I have witnessed it many times. They dodge the inevitable question: How did you manage to get out of it? Hasty marriage? Graduate school? A trick knee? Men in this category do not invite conversation about that time in their lives, any more than combat veterans discuss the horrendous things they witnessed in the war zone. Only those who came of age after the draft turned into a lottery, the ones with high, untouchable numbers, or those who arrived after the Army went voluntary, escaped the moral dilemma of serving or resisting or malingering.

The statistics are revealing. Of the 26.8 million men who were eligible for service during the war period, 15.4 million were deferred, exempted or disqualified. Of those who served, 2.1 million were deployed to Vietnam. More than 58,000 died, 300,000 were wounded and 245,000 have filed for injuries incurred by exposure to the defoliant weapon Agent Orange. More than 50,000 draft-age men fled to Canada and Sweden. There are no statistics on those who suffer from permanent psychological wounds.

The men who actively protested against the war may feel best about themselves. They were engaged in the struggle of their generation, and they deserve the lion’s share of credit for stopping the war. Their resistance, especially from 1967 to 1969, when U.S. casualties were the highest, forced the hand of America’s leaders. They have a better argument for serenity in their old age than those who merely avoided service and stood smugly on the sidelines.

Then there are the politicians. The rationale for American involvement — the phony Tonkin Gulf resolution and the discredited domino theory — forced the moral dilemma on the Vietnam generation. Five years after Saigon fell, in the election of 1980, presidential candidate Ronald Reagan romanticized the conflict as a “noble cause.” He planted the enduring notion, so popular on political hustings nowadays, that America must never again fight a war it does not intend to win. This glib rhetoric is sure to be prominent in renewed debates over the war, and it may make those who bear the brunt of the war’s loss feel better: It wasn’t their fault. But scoffing detractors will ask whether more troops and more bombs would really have ensured victory. They will turn Reagan’s phrase upside down: America must never again force another generation to choose between service or resistance in an arguably immoral war.

It is with bitter irony that the Vietnam generation has witnessed the friendly visits of Presidents Clinton and Bush (both of whom avoided the war) to Hanoi, or the jovial Oval Office interchange between President Trump(deferred because of bone spurs) and Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the prime minister of our new ally and bulwark against China, the People’s Republic of Vietnam. They must cope with the recent revelations that Richard Nixon scuttled a Lyndon Johnson peace deal during the 1968 election for cold political reasons, a deal that might have saved the 20,000 American soldiers who died during Nixon’s subsequent six-year presidency. With mixed feelings or quiet applause, they watched John Kerry, a bonafide war hero and an antiwar leader, in his last act as secretary of State, meet the Viet Cong veteran who tried to kill him in the murky waters of the Mekong Delta.

Reconciliation after divisive wars, especially a lost war, is a tricky business. Those who served in Vietnam or resisted may never be considered members of a Greatest Generation, like World War II veterans. Nevertheless, their experiences are authentically American, deeply revealing of divisions and ideals that haunt us still.

In the early 1980s, the design for the now-celebrated Vietnam memorial wall — a site that has evolved into a place of contemplation for the pacifist as well as the warrior — attracted advocates and enemies who saw it as yet another opportunity to re-fight the war. An editorial in the Boston Globe summarized what would become a five-year art battle this way: “Commemorating the war in Vietnam is likely to prove no simpler than fighting it.”

The Burns documentary airs in a week. Get ready for another round.

James Reston Jr. will be interviewed about his latest book, “A Rift in the Earth: Art, Memory, and the Fight for a Vietnam Memorial,” at Chevalier’s Books on Sept. 28. Reston served in the U.S. Army from 1965 to 1968, and is a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

URGENT NEED for Volunteers for Gun Show at Cashman Center


This message was sent with high importance.

We have only had ONE member volunteer to help at this weekend’s gun show.  WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Volunteers are needed for the upcoming gun show on August 26 & 27, 2017, at Cashman Center.  (If you are disabled, the parking is free.)  Two volunteers are needed for each of the following time periods:  9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. each day.

All volunteers must be on the schedule or they won't be able to get them in.  We are limited to how many volunteers we can have.


Crossroads of the West Gun Show

Cashman Center – August 26-27, 2017

850 Las Vegas Blvd North, Las Vegas, NV 89101

If you have never volunteered for a fund raising event before, this is a chance to get to know your fellow VVA Chapter members and see some of the weapons, ammo, reloading and weapon accessories that will be for sale. 

We normally have two (2) members from Chapter 1076 and Chapter 17 provides two (2) members per time slot.  If we are heavy with volunteers at the booth, you can wander and approach possible members throughout the show. 

Membership eligibility is open to both Vietnam veterans and Vietnam-era veterans.  (See VVA eligibility description below).

Eligibility:  Vietnam and Vietnam-era veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Military (for other than training purposes) between February 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975 (in-country Vietnam) or between August 5, 1964,  – May 7, 1975 for Vietnam-era veterans. 

Have a good time and "Thank You" for responding in a timely manner.

Saturday, August 26:   (2 members per time slot)
* 0900 - 1300:
* 1300 - 1700: 
* All day: 

Sunday, August 27:  (2 members per time slot)
* 0900 - 1300:
* 1300 - 1700:
* All day:
Return all time selections and/or inquiries to Lance Ryness at email address:  lryness@yahoo.com

Please feel free to contact Lance Ryness (702 813-2723) with any questions or concerns.

Tina Sansouci

(Home)  702-294-0402

Friday, August 18, 2017


Yesterday, 10:44 PM

This message was sent with high importance.

I have just received notification that Dan Bounds passed away early this morning. 

His son and daughter will let us know when and where the funeral will take place.  Once I have additional information, I will send another e-mail update.

Please respect the family’s request for no phone calls at this time.

Tina Sansouci

(Home)  702-294-0402

(Cell)  702-635-2695

Thursday, August 17, 2017

FW: Help us spread the word on Veterans Day activities

Dear State Commanders and Veteran Supporters,

Veterans Day 2017 is Saturday, November 11th. There are always many activities planned!  This year, we could use your help in making a list of those activities so we may assist in getting the word out to veterans and their families who want to participate.

If you would let us know what your organization is planning to do, it would be very helpful. Give us the date, location, time and contact information. We will make sure we post those activities on our website and let everyone know through our communications, including our NDVS Newsletter about the upcoming events.

All you have to do is hit “REPLY” on this email or email me at hendryt@veterans.nv.gov or call at 775-771-2800.

Thank you very much for being a part of this partnership in serving veterans.


Terri Hendry


Terri Hendry, Communications Director
Nevada Department of Veterans Services
work: (775)825-9755

cell: (775)771-2800
"Serving Nevada's Heroes"

vva Chapter 1076 fundraiser


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Request for Volunteers for Fundraiser

1. Veterans Services Fair October 11, 2017

This message was sent with high importance.

Veterans Services Fair 2017.pdf1 MB


Save to OneDrive - Personal

Please see the attached document regarding the Veterans Services Fair to be held on Wednesday, October 11, 2017.

We need volunteers to help with

Tina Sansouci

(Home)  702-294-0402

(Cell)  702-635-2695

2. Save the Date - TGIF Fundraiser

This message was sent with high importance.

TGIFridays Fundraiser.pdf581 KB


Save to OneDrive - Personal

We are having another fundraising event at a local restaurant – TGIFridays!

Date and Time:  Thursday, September 7, 2017 from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Location:  4330 East Sunset Road, Henderson, NV 89014   (phone #:  702-990-8443)

You MUST bring the attached flyer with you.  Twenty percent (20%) of the sales will be given to Chapter 1076.

Tina Sansouci

(Home)  702-294-0402

(Cell)  702-635-2695

3. Request for Volunteers for Fundraiser at Smith’s

This message was sent with high importance.

Fundraiser Smith's Food and Drug.pdf709 KB


Save to OneDrive - Personal

Please see the attached for information on the Smith’s Fundraiser to be held on Saturday, August 16, 2017, and Sunday, August 20, 2017.

We need two or three volunteers per each four hour shift.

Tina Sansouci

(Home)  702-294-0402

(Cell)  702-635-2695

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Dan Bounds Update

I have just been informed that Dan Bounds has undergone triple by-pass surgery.

Per the request of his family, please NO phone calls or visitors at this time.

I will update everyone when I get additional information.

Tina Sansouci

(Home)  702-294-0402

(Cell)  702-635-2695