Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Vietnam war deserter regrets flight to Canada in 1968

Vietnam war deserter regrets flight to Canada in 1968
Tri-City Herald, Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, Washington
Associated Press Mar. 21, 2006

AMYAHK, British Columbia - A Vietnam war-era deserter who was caught crossing into the United States and held for a week says he made a mistake when he fled the Marine Corps in 1968."When I was 18, I wasn't aware that duty and honor would mean as much to me as they do now," Allen Abney, 56, said Monday in this southeast British Columbia town." Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have done what I did 38 years ago," he said. "It wasn't worth it, all the pain I caused my family." Abney was arrested March 9 while crossing the border to Idaho, something he had done countless times before, but he said that was the first time he was asked for birth certificate as identification. When the Customs agent asked him to pull over, Abney said, he knew he was in trouble. For the rest of the story: War Deserter
Bosun's comments and observations:

First: Hard saying what really was going on by reading just one lone article in the news about Abney. If he grew up in Canada, was his mother or his father Canadian? Would he have been eligible for "Dual Citizenship?" I have several questions on his actual status.

We all know that newspapers sometimes print what a person says without knowing all the facts, or they print liberal, or, conservative media bias. If Mr Abney grew up in Canada, perhaps he should have stayed there. As far as his brother being drafted, not sure if he would have felt obligated to join. Lot of guys in the Viet Nam era requested and prayed for deferments. I had a deferment until I finished a trade school and then I was reclassified to 1-A overnight. I was one step ahead of my draft notice when I joined the service.

The Viet Nam experience altered a lot of lives, both sides of the fence. I do not minimize the experience by looking at our human accounts of the experience as someone recently told me, "one of thousands of stories." The Viet Nam experience impacted lives and profoundly impacted world events. We cannot minimize the Viet Nam experience and dismiss those experiences as "stories."

Unfortunately, Mr. Abney made a decision when he was 18 to run from his military duty. He was one of about 70,000 dodger and evaders who decided to bail out of the United States and live in Canada. I am not sure how many were deserters of those 70,000.

We lost about 47,413 of our Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard personnel in combat during Viet Nam.

I do respect Mr. Abney for apologizing. Now, he should return to his home in Canada.

Second: We have to confront the ghosts of the past, Viet Nam. For me it is as real today as it was in 1968. I am OK with it and I hold no ill feeling toward the Vietnamese people or their government. It was unfortunate for all of us. We, Americans and Vietnamese, are victims together in that war.

Third: Back to the present, al-Qaeda is betting on the fact that Americans will "loose the will to fight" another asymmetric war. Their number 2 guy, Dr. al-Zawahiri, has questioned America's will to fight a protracted war. Al- Zawahiri has predicted that we will turn tail and run, just like we ran from Viet Nam. In an interview posted on CNN, al-Zawahiri lashed out at the United States saying that those efforts, "will end with your defeat, the killing of your sons and the destruction of your economy." CNN.Com - Zawahiri

al-Zawahiri also has boasted about al-Qaeda's success in ousting America from Somalia. That is something that President Clintons adminstration still has not come to terms with. Every time I see the movie, Black Hawk Down, it really get me right in the heart.

The following links are provide and warrant further study:
I regret opening some wounds of long ago. However, I feel compelled to write down my feelings. If we do not deal with the ghosts of Viet Nam, we will probably end up failing in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other areas of the Middle East.

As I listen to our Mainstream Media, Liberal Left, and unfortunately, even members of our legislative branch continually bad mouth President Bush and disrespect our President's oath of office, my biggest fear that al-Zawahiri's predictions will come true.

A message to John, Jack, Teddy, Harry, Chuck, Hillary, and the rest of the pundits from the left, please get a grip on reality.

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