From Albert Strickland;
\”I am a Vietnam Veteran. Do not thank me for my service. My service was to oil companies, chemical companies, the makers of guns and weapons, ships and fighter planes. My service was to the wealthy, the powerful and the rich. Today is not Veterans Day but rather the old Armistice Day, a day that the powers that be changed from a day to celebrate the ending of war to a day that commemorates the \’pawns\’ of war and this was done in the mid-50\’s during the cold war and as buildup for the Vietnam War. Millions died, were butchered or maimed, homes and lives destroyed and even we returning veterans did not bring the war home with us, no, we left our souls there, in the rice field and in the faces of the women, men and children we terrorized. There is no glory in war and none should be given. War should never be fought for anything other than the direct protection of homes never so that few and prosper while so many suffer. I ask that we stop making veterans and start building soldiers for peace! Do not thank me for my service.
Today is not an easy day. It is difficult. I remember. I remember the victims. We are all victims! The mothers that send their children to become murderers and the children who murder. Mothers on all sides who lose their family. I remember the fear in the faces of the children we encountered, the fear that everyone wears like a mask that you can not remove. I remember the destruction, the death, the pain, the agony. I remember. It is impossible to forget. While some fat rich person here at home sits in a private club sipping brandy from a crystal sniffer and smoking a cigar, two young people face each other in another world, one having to kill the other to survive. We are not heroes. We were not brave young men. We were victims as are we all. I wish this day we could wake up. All veterans should enter every mansion, every executive office, every boardroom, break the snifters, put the rich and powerful, the politicians on a boat with their children, put rifles in their hands and send them to war and bring our brothers and sisters home! That is my wish! War would cease and men would find ways to solve differences without human sacrifice of the poor!\”