The Quiet Americans

From Russ Vaughn:

The Quiet Americans

In response to a piece I posted at several websites, “I Don’t Know War,” which I did not author but merely passed along, I received a very moving letter from a nurse who operates her own blog in her very limited spare time. She wrote,

“I have a great many men in my family who have been in the military besides my dad. And the piece you sent me really hits the nail on the head. It also nearly made me cry as it made me think of my World War II uncles.”

This lady then goes on to recount her memories of her family’s contributions.


Aside from the enormous contribution this one American family has made in its service to this country, what resonated for me was the self-effacing manner of those who served. As the italicized quotes demonstrate, these men did not boast of their wartime service or their medals. In fact, most of them spoke of it not at all. Nor did Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy,George H. W. Bush and Bob Dole. As those who have served and their families know, real heroes don’t brag.

So what does that tell you about John Kerry?

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66

Postscript: I have received some criticism for signing my writings with my military credentials. As I have explained previously, I do so not to boast, but to establish my right to question John Kerry’s war record and to let other vets know that I’ve been there, as I know that is one of the first questions that arises in the mind of a reader who has been in combat, “What the hell does he know about it?” Well, as a former combat infantryman, I know enough. Like most who fought in Vietnam, I was just a grunt who did his job, certainly no hero; but I knew and served with heroes. AND NONE OF THEM BRAGGED ABOUT IT. But based on the events that led to John Kerry getting a Silver Star, we should have had several hundred of them awarded in my battalion of paratroopers.

Russ, I, for one, hope you'll continue to include your credentials in the things you write and allow others to post. I myself am in no sense a hero (although I am starting to wonder what you aren't telling us), but I also feel my status as a Viet Nam veteran is something that might matter to people wondering about my "standing" to be so pro G.I., so pro-veteran, and so rabidly anti-Kerry. As an additional reminder, some may have noted that I served in "Viet Nam," not "Vietnam." I think the people of The Republic of Viet Nam probably knew what country they lived in.

Bill Faith
14th and 8th Aerial Port Squadrons
Viet Nam, 1971-1972

Click here to go to The Mudville Gazette and read the whole thing. I'm tired, it's long, so tonight Mudville is my "extended entry" section.


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