Do Americans Really Appreciate Their Heroes?

May 24, 2014

This reflection was penned by Vietnam veteran, author, and my friend Forrest L. Gomez and posted with permission on

MEMORIES OF DAYS GONE BY: 2VCimages I wish to return to a fairly common theme of mine, by sharing this original essay which is based on a monologue presented by the late and great Charlton Heston in the 1990s; a monologue that defended World War II veteran’s against Bill Clinton’s admonition that veterans should learn to sacrifice more. If you are bored by my monologue, too damn bad.

You see, in a recent debate related to a Facebook friend’s posting, a young liberal male accused me of being “a typical upper middle class Republican who has had everything given to him, including a thorough education.” Well, beloved brothers and sisters, it’s tearful confession time. I was pampered and spoiled. While Dad was in Korea and my older sister suffered with polio, we lived luxuriously in a palatial clapboard wooden house built years before, eating the best rice and beans the local stores had to offer.

The $200.00 a month my father earned assured that we would achieve the American dream. Later on, we laughingly hid under our desks during disaster drills, and enjoyed entertaining documentaries on the nuclear perils of the Berlin Crisis and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Hula hoops went hand in hand with nuclear war drills. Wearing hand-me-downs was an honor, of course, for we knew nothing different. Unable to afford college, and supporting my country’s position in war, I, like many other privileged young men, went on to a cushy career in the US Army. While we enjoyed exquisite meals from green cans, like Ham with Lima beans, our poor young future 44th president had to tough it out in private schools in Hawaii and lowly Ivy-League colleges and universities, straining and praying that Grandma’s check would arrive in the mail on time for the next party with the Choom Gang, or junket to Africa.

Guys like me suddenly found ourselves on the way to the euphemistically-titled Southeast Asia Overseas Contingency Operations; things were surely looking up! We relaxed in the heat and humidity, scoffed at the flying metal, giant insects, cobras, tropical diseases, and partook of all the free meals and comforts the government would give us. Of course, those lively fellows lurking about who wore different kinds of uniforms than we did…we did our best to appeal to their better natures. And soon after LBJ gave his famous “Light at the End of the Tunnel” speech, our cups ranneth over.

The splendid outdoor activities of the Tet Offensive of 1968 made our lives ever so pleasurable! Yes, we were pampered and spoiled, and privileged to come out second in the aforementioned Southeast Asia contingency operations. We reveled with delight when disowned by everyone except our families and each other, and sent to the back of the bus by the Democrat Party. Many of us had the joy and pleasure of taking part in other intriguing and stimulating events, like the struggle in El Salvador, the rescue operation in Granada, and hellish Desert Storm. All the while, our poor struggling future president tackled serious issues like buying the right controlled substances, attending fiery sermons by an anti-American pastor, and the dangerous detail of community organizing.

I, Sarge, did finally get a good education at tax payer expense, at Thomas Edison College. What a bargain! Having the G.I. Bill only cost me two wars, a number of buddies, twenty-two plus years, and two marriages. Yes, my liberal, young friend, many in my group had it so so easy in our cushy, privileged lifetimes. Tell us, Mr. Liberal and Mr. President about your struggles in poverty and war. Teach us, entitled young Liberal and Mr. Imperial President, the TRUE meaning of those words: DUTY, HONOR, and COUNTRY!

-The Sarge

posted with permission by  5/24/14

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