Bob Nowak, 52, a retired Navy man from Aroda, Va., who did two tours in Vietnam, said veterans such as himself despise Kerry for his decision to protest the war in the early 1970s.
Nowak remembers returning from Vietnam in 1973 aboard an aircraft carrier loaded with thousands of sailors in their dress whites. "As we passed under the Golden Gate Bridge, there were people waiting for us. And they threw garbage on us," Nowak recalled. "That was about the time Kerry was throwing his [ribbons] away. It's kind of hard to forget either of them."
Sorry it has been so long since I posted on CwR.
Bob, if you choose to ignore the fact that George W. Bush used political influence to avoid going to Vietnam, then you go right ahead. The fact is, he did use his father's influence, and there is plenty of evidence that he only paid lip service to the "service" he did perform.
That said, I can certainly understand why some Vietnam Vets were upset by John Kerry's protests against the Vietnam War upon his return. However, that does not mean that he was wrong to lodge those protests. The USA did lots of horrific things in Vietnam because, well, we weren't used to losing a war. And I for one don't think that trying to bring those thin-gs to light is such a bad thing.
Rhoads wrote: "if you choose to ignore the fact that George W. Bush used political influence to avoid going to Vietnam" and "The fact is, he did use his father's influence". It wouldn't shock me if Rhoads is right, but I've never seen any evidence that Bush Sr intervened to keep Geroge W. from going to Vietnam. Perhaps Rhoads could provide a source for this fact.
We do know that George W. served in the National Guard. He did not go to Vietnam. Was the former a way of achieving the latter? Probably, but it wasn't the best way. George W. could have gone straight to graduate school or to Oxford like Clinton did. Instead he signed up for the Guard, specifically with the 147th Fighter Interceptor Group in 1968, which in 1966 was named the most combat ready unit in the Guard. Furthermore, the 147th had fighter pilots (Bush trained as a fighter pilot) in Vietnam (participating in "Palace Alert") at the time he joined and trained. [first of many Google hits that confirm the above.]
Of course this isn't really about facts. We should be able to resolve those disputes, provided Rhoads coughs up some sources. I'm perfectly willing, if the evidence shows it, to accept that George W. Bush used political influence to avoid serving in Vietnam. What this is really about is my assertion (not factual, just an opinion) that military people overwhelmingly, veterans, reservists, and active duty, don't much care for Kerry. Sure, Rhoads likes Kerry. But Rhoads isn't a military guy.