Letter From Vietnam
people of the news,
My job, and that of my squad, is to search out and destroy the enemy by operations as small Recon patrols, and as large Battalion sweeps.
One soldier saw an accidental shelling of a village - he said it was accidental. And from that one mistake, a few people draw drastic conclusions as to the method of "war" over here.
We are not interpreters - we are Marines. When we got here, we fought from Da Nang to the D.M.Z; and we have seen killing both necessary and unnecessary on both sides. But one thing those few people don't understand is that there are some people who are willing to die fighting for a freedom that that those same few were born into.
I wonder if the soldier has ever seen what will happen to a village if the people don't do EXACTLY as their enemy dictates; such as giving them women, and the majority of their crops; we have tortures and depravities unfit to print. Yet a few want us all to leave and let these people strive for themselves!
The only people who don't, the only people who can't appreciate freedom are those who have been given it, free of charge. Those same few. War is hell - but sometimes war is neceaasy to uproot an evil too deep to scrape off.
There was such a war in Heaven even before earth was created. And war will end only when man no longer exists in his present form.
I wonder if the soldier has ever seen us GUARD a village during the rice picking, so the people can work without the fear of death they've grown so accustomed to.
Has he ever seen Seabees build decent building to house their crops, to keep them from rotting during the monsoons?
Has he ever seen Corpsmen risk their lives to stay in a village to help the sick and old, friend and enemy alike?
Has he ever seen a Marine give a little girl a piece of candy, or carry a little boy across a stream and teach him to use common soap?
We have, because we've done it ourselves.
No part of any war is pleasant - but we ask one thing - why shouldn't we stay and help people who want to be helped, and give them a chance to live the life we take for granted?
Why do accidents such as he related become distorted and magnified to represent all conditions here?
If anyone can answer us, we would appreciate an answer. And we leave you with a little to think about. As long as there is one person left in Vietnam who needs and asks our help to achieve a way of life suitable of living, we will stay, and we will fight.
When America fought for her independence and freedom, the few countries that came to her aid were never accused with such "atrocities of war." We know what freedom is worth, and will go to almost any means to help a country such as this once achieve that which they want and NEED to survive.
You showed courage by printing the letter from a soldier. We ask you to show the same courage by printing the letter of a Marine - or rather 10 Marines.