By: FoxChase1803
25 Dec 2003, 11:16 AM EST
Msg. 132159 of 132161
Jump to msg. #  
Recognition of soldiers long overdue

By Joseph L. Galloway
December 25, 2003

WASHINGTON - Time magazine named the American soldier its Person of the Year for 2003. The American soldier (read: Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard) has been my person of the year every year through four decades and three wars, beginning with Vietnam.

Largely unsung and unnoticed, the American soldier does the hard, dirty work of keeping freedom alive, year in and year out, in a world growing ever more violent and dangerous.

Soldiers put their lives on the line in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan and Bosnia and Kosovo, to name just a few of the 120 places around the world where American soldiers stand between people bent on killing each other, where they teach the soldiers of other nations, and where they pursue the shadowy terrorists who would bring darkness to the world.

To those we owe so much we pay so little that the spouses and children of volunteer enlisted soldiers sometimes have no choice but to seek public welfare. They exist in shabby trailer parks on the outskirts of places such as Fort Hood and Fort Riley and Fort Stewart while their loved ones soldier in some foreign country for months, if not years. We should be ashamed.

The Army has changed much in the four decades since I first marched into combat in Vietnam. Then most soldiers were draftees, young men who hadn't made it into college and were called to two years' service by their hometown draft board.

They didn't ask to be called, but didn't run away to Canada or turn up for their draft physicals wearing pantyhose. They went when called and served where ordered, which meant in a hellish jungle war against a formidable foe.

They died by the thousands, were wounded by the hundreds of thousands. Those who made it home unscratched were by no means untouched. They carried the scars of witnessing brutal infantry combat at an age when they should have been home, dreaming of cars and girls. What a homecoming they received from a nation deeply divided over a badly mismanaged war.

But for their bravery and sacrifice I would not be here to write these poor words of praise for them. Ronald Reagan called Vietnam a "noble war." It was not. It was a mistake. But the soldiers sent to fight that war were noble. No one could explain to them why they were there or what they were fighting for, so they did the only thing they could: They fought for each other.

Their era ended with the war they fought. The draft went away 30 years ago and a volunteer force took their place. The first job would be to rebuild the Army, which was shattered by Vietnam, broken by indiscipline, drugs and racial conflict. Those soldiers and NCOs and officers stayed around to rebuild something they loved, and they labored for years to create a finely trained and armed force.

That Army, and those new soldiers, stunned the world with what they did in the Persian Gulf war, Operation Desert Storm. In just 100 hours of swift ground combat, they routed the Iraqis and liberated Kuwait.

Before the last soldier made it home from that outing, the Army was being cut back from 12 divisions to 10. So the force would shrink but also grow more lethal.

The American soldier was deployed again and again: Somalia, Grenada, Panama, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq one more time. The politicians of both parties seem so much more willing to draw the sword these days.

The Army was whittled to only 480,000 great soldiers. Too few called on to do too much. The National Guard and Reserves had to fill in the gap every time America moved militarily.

I see them sometimes in my dreams, and they are always the same, these American soldiers: Young, gaunt, burdened like pack animals, homesick, wary, weary - and so proud to be serving their country.

They give so much and ask so little. The next time you see a man or woman in uniform, just walk up, shake hands and say: Thank you for your service.

And watch the tears come into their eyes.

# # #

Joseph L. Galloway is the senior military correspondent for Knight Ridder Newspapers. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

The Baltimore Sun

Dec 3, 2003

ADVR Reports AVR118 Inhibits Inflammatory Arthritis in Animal Model and in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients in Human Clinical Trial

Nov 20, 2003

ADVR's AVR118 Granted a Patent in China for the Treatment of AIDS

Nov 18, 2003

Advanced Viral Research Corp. Announces Retention of James T. D'Olimpio, MD As 'Spokesperson at Large'

Nov 10, 2003

ADVR Reports Positive Preliminary Results of AVR118 Clinical Trial in AIDS Patients Suffering from Body Wasting (Cachexia)

Aug 28, 2003

ADVR Announces Search for New CEO and Appointment of Interim CEO

May 16, 2003

ADVR Completes Private Placement Financing Transactions

Apr 11, 2003

ADVR CEO Hirschman Comments on SARS on ABC World News Tonight

Mar 24, 2003

ADVR Granted Therapeutic Composition Patent For Product R; U.S. Patent Awarded for Chemical Structure of Novel Peptide Nucleic Acid

Mar 18, 2003

ADVR Begins Planning for Late Stage Phase II AIDS Clinical Trial In Israel

Feb 25, 2003

ADVR Pursuing Options in NY Litigation; Continues to Press Florida Lawsuit

Jan 9, 2003

ADVR Completes Private Placement Financing Transaction

Dec 17, 2002

ADVR Files Stock Manipulation Suit in Florida

Dec 12, 2002

Potential Use of ADVR's Product R to Treat AIDS Is Focus of A&U Magazine Article

Nov 14, 2002

ADVR Begins Product R Israeli Clinical Trials; Quintiles Retained to Monitor/Audit Trials, Selikoff Center to Conduct Trials

Nov 8, 2002

ADVR Announces Staff Reduction to Conserve Capital to Focus on Israeli Clinical Trials; Intent to Sell Bahamas Plant; Board Resignations

Oct 11, 2002

ADVR's Product R Reverses Cancerous Properties of Human Promyelocytic Leukemia Cells in Laboratory Cultures

Sep 25, 2002

Dr. Richard S. Kent Joins ADVR Board of Directors

Sep 18, 2002

Dr. Sidney Pestka Joins ADVR Scientific Advisory Board

Sep 10, 2002

ADVR Announces Completion of $3 Million Financing; Funds Enable Israeli Clinical Trials of Product R to Move Forward

Aug 20, 2002

ADVR's Product R Subject of Published Study on Clinical Trial For Treatment of HIV/AIDS

Jul 30, 2002

Paul R. Bishop Joins ADVR Board of Directors

Jul 16, 2002

ADVR Announces $1.5 Million Investment By Member of Board and Member of Business Advisory Board

Jun 18, 2002

ADVR's Product R Approved in Israel for Phase I Study In Patients with Solid Tumors

Jun 12, 2002

ADVR's Product R Approved in Israel for Phase I Study in Leukemia and Lymphoma Patients

Jun 10, 2002

Roy S. Walzer Joins Board of Directors of Advanced Viral Research Corp.

Jun 6, 2002

ADVR's Product R Approved in Israel for Phase I/II Study In Patients Needing Salvage Therapy For AIDS

May 23, 2002

ADVR Names Mayr Communications to Handle Public/Investor Relations; Firm Brings Extensive Pharmaceutical Industry Experience

May 2, 2002

ADVR Names Eli Wilner Chairman of the Board

Apr 23, 2002

ADVR's Dr. Hirschman Describes Large Potential Therapeutic Categories for Product R

Apr 16, 2002

ADVR Is Assigned Ownership of Two U.S. Patents in Settlement of Litigation

Apr 12, 2002

ADVR Begins Phase 2 of IND for Topical Treatment Of Genital Warts With Product R

Mar 20, 2002

ADVR's Product R Granted Patent for Topical Use In Treatment of Skin Diseases, Eye Afflictions

Mar 15, 2002

Dr. Howard Young - Leading Immunologist - Joins the Scientific Advisory Board Of Advanced Viral Research Corp.

Mar 11, 2002

Advanced Viral Research Corp. Submits Product R Topical Phase 1 Results to FDA

Jan 24, 2002

Advanced Viral Research Corp. Forms Scientific Advisory Board with Leaders in Oncology, Hematology, Women's Health Care

News Headlines from:
PR Newswire - United Business Media
By: spec4
25 Dec 2003, 12:12 PM EST
Msg. 132164 of 132172
(This msg. is a reply to 132159 by FoxChase1803.)
Jump to msg. #  
Foxchase, thank you for posting that tribute to our soldiers on this Christmas morning. I spent Christmas in
a place called Pleiku, Vietnam in 1968 and I was one of those draftees who spent 2 years in the Army at the request
of my local draft board. I, like yourself, have great love
and respect for our soldiers and each night when we say grace at dinner my family says a special prayer for their safety and wellbeing. I believe the military is much better
managed than in my time and more focused on the mission.
The troops in the Vietnam War were as selfless as you could
possibly imagine and for that they paid a heavy price.
Over the years the reasons for us being in Vietnam in the
first place have have become very clouded and as the author
of this article states most people think it was a mistake
from the outset. I'm not so certain that if the United
States hadn't stood up to the expansion of communism at that time, the world would be moving in the direction of
democracy at this time. Try to remember that in the late
50's and early 60's the Soviet Union was on the march
around the world with client states like North Vietnam
springing up on almost every continent. Vietnam was a bad
spot to take a stand against this onslaught and was the
main reason it turned out badly. Logistically it was a
nightmare and the anti-American propaganda coming out of
Moscow was just too effective to overcome. I'm sure the
Vietnam War will be debated for many years to come, but
one thing for certain, the men and women who have served
and are serving now are the reason we can enjoy the Christmas morning in peace and goodwill to all mankind.
Merry Christmas!