Vietnam vets betrayed again - Pentagon bureaucrat wants to abridge 50th-anniversary ceremonies

I am so sorry. I added the update here and it was suppose to be added to this article.
Police: Iraq War Disabled War Veteran's SUV vandalized in West York, Possib....
The contact info for helping him is in comment section. Again, I'm so sorry.


The Washington Times

By Jim Robbins

The 50th-anniversary commemoration of the Vietnam War should be a time of reflection and redemption, when a grateful country pays a long-standing debt to veterans who nobly fought in the conflict but camehome to scorn and spit. But if a Pentagon bureaucrat has his way, the Viet vets will be denied their rightful honors once again.

In 2008, Congress authorized the secretary of defense to "conduct a program to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War" to "thank and honor veterans of the Vietnam War," "pay tribute to the contributions made on the home front," highlight technological advances during the war and "recognize the contributions and sacrifices" of U.S. allies. The Defense Department also was charged with coordinating, supporting and facilitating "other programs and activities of the Federal Government, State and local governments, and other persons and organizations in commemoration of the Vietnam War." The proposed budget for the commemorations was $100 million, which was less than the amount spent on the World War II and Korean War commemoration efforts. For example, the 1984 commemoration of the Normandy landings alone cost $38 million.

The commission charged with executing this mission sought a commemoration that would be in keeping with the spirit of the intent of Congress. The idea was to have a series of commemorations that would begin in 2009, 50 years after the July 8, 1959, Viet Cong attack at Bien Hoa killed Army Maj. Dale R. Buis and Master Sgt. Chester M. Ovnand, the first two names on the wall of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The commemorations were slated to continue until 2025 and the 50th anniversary of the fall of Saigon.

According to a source familiar with the workings of the commission, it proposed a series of events to take place at various locations around the country to maximize opportunities for aging Vietnam vets to attend them. The events were designed to combine symbolism with substance and were chosen carefully, with input from an interagency group of historians. One planned event was to take place in the fall of 2011 to commemorate the 1965 battle in the la Drang Valley, dramatized in the film "We Were Soldiers." The event was to be held in Auburn, Ala., home of retired Army Lt. Gen. Harold G. "Hal" Moore, who commanded the troops in the fight. Gen. Moore is emblematic of the veteran population in more ways than one; he is in poor health, and members of the commission fear he may not be available to attend the event. 

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, 300 Vietnam vets are dying every day, and as our source asked, "Why are we waiting to get this started?"

Enter Michael L. Rhodes, director of administration and management at the Pentagon. His office has been given oversight over the anniversary commission, which he has downgraded to a "planning staff." Mr. Rhodes has made meaningful work by the commission next to impossible and has sought drastically to scale back the planned commemorations. According to an August action memo prepared by Mr. Rhodes for Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and obtained by The Washington Times, he urged Mr. Gates to reject the proposed commemoration program and adopt instead a "targeted" $30 million program. The memo describes the new approach as "a dignified and meaningful DoD Program of national recognition [that] need not be tied to the full timeframe of U.S. military involvement" and that will "provide nation-wide participation, while utilizing the resources involved in the most effective manner."

Mr. Rhodes' plan cuts the time frame of the commemoration down to 2015-18 and inexplicably features a kickoff in his former home of Honolulu, which is not exactly a resource-effective location. Hawaii is inaccessible for most veterans and is in a time zone where most Americans could not watch the event live on television.

In May, the commission met with representatives of 60 veterans organizations to solicit their views.
They had hoped to create an advisory board with representatives of officer and enlisted ranks from each of the services. Our source said Mr. Rhodes would allow only one veteran, at most. The commission had planned to meet in October with representatives of 200 museums, libraries and educational institutions to help coordinate efforts and fulfill the mandate from Congress to work with other entities. The week before the meeting was to be held, Mr. Rhodes ordered it canceled and further ordered that no other outreach efforts be undertaken. Our source also said Mr. Rhodes ordered that information on the website be cut back so as not to set "unrealistic expectations."

  The 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War is too important to be left to someone with Mr. Rhodes' limited vision. This effort requires high-level attention to fulfill the bipartisan mandate from Congress. It needs an executive agent, preferably a Vietnam vet, who is enthusiastic about the mission and will not turn it into a shabby token commemoration. The Obama administration has a bad enough reputation among veterans without signing off on this ill-advised plan. Whether the White House was involved in this affair or not, it surely will take the blame. Failing action from the executive branch, Congress should intervene to make sure the anniversary commemoration is undertaken in a way that fulfills its intent. The Vietnam generation deserves better than stripped-down, pro-forma honors. Its veterans were spit on once - they must not be treated that way again.

James S. Robbins is senior editorial writer for foreign affairs at The Washington Times and author of "This Time We Win: Revisiting the Tet Offensive" (Encounter Books, 2010).

© Copyright 2010 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Views: 322

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Still people that fight over Vietnam and have no respect for those who went there and fought or those who supported
them in the military or their families. No surprise in this. This kind of thinking has been going on from the day that
war started. Semper Fi. Jo Dermody
I hear you here, Michael. But whoever thought the wall united the fighters with the protesters is CRAZY! Those are the loons in Congress now!
Closest I ever saw those 2 groups together was in a brawl, pounding on each other. Now if that's someone's warped idea of a reunion, well, maybe it did, in that case, but it's sure not my idea of being united. It's too bad the people there can't just give the "fame" to those to whom it's truly owed; the vets who did the fighting so they could sit home and protest, and be here now to discuss it! Semper fi, Marine!
What we damn-well need is TO GET THE ENEMY OUT OF THE WHITE-HOUSE ,,,etc,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Jack
I can agree with most all of what has been said. I was a Navy Corpsman who made two trips to Vietnam with the First Marine Div and the Third Marine Div. The only thing I can add is the fact that today at age 70, I really don't care anymore if they recognize our service or not. I live with it daily. I see all of these wannabe's professing what they did and all the medals they received, and I wonder where they were at the time. I made a trip to that wall about 15 yrs ago, and the reception I received from those on the other side of the wall was all I needed.

Nov. 12, 2011
Contact: Dr. W. Scott Magill
(417) 886-8499


Veterans In Defense Of Liberty denounces the Department of Defense’s Plan to Radically Cut the 50th Anniversary Vietnam Veteran Commemoration as morally corrupt.

Veterans In Defense Of Liberty explicitly calls for the resignation of Pentagon Director of administration and management, Michael L. Rhodes. Rhodes, a Secretary of Defense appointee, who by showing willful and wanton contempt for American Veteran is, by inference, showing disdain toward the U.S. Military.

Springfield, MO -- (Nov 12, 2011) - Veterans In Defense of Liberty Board of Directors voted, unanimously, to condemn the actions taken by Michael L. Rhodes and to call for his resignation The vote of acclamation was taken recalling the words of Thomas Edison, "The strength of the Constitution, lies in the will of the people to defend it."

Dr. William S. Magill, president and CEO, recalling the words of Calvin Coolidge, “The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten,” stated: “We believe the decision by Mr. Rhoades represents yet another way the radicals of the 60s, who dishonored Vietnam Veterans and protested the war can again deny them the honor long overdue. Those 60s radicals are in charge of, or at the least strongly influence, this administration and their actions. William Ayres gets his way again if this is allowed to be carried through. The anti-war movement is the face of this Administration. Vietnam veterans are indeed being BETRAYED AGAIN. This we will not tolerate, for it is a betrayal of every veteran; past, present and future and is a betrayal to our fallen brothers. The administration desires to weaken our great country, in this case, by weakening our military and our veterans...not on my watch, not on our watch.”

Beyond the intentional betrayal of those who, at some time in their life, signed a blank check payable to the defense of the Constitution of the United States against all enemies “foreign and domestic” this decision represents a deliberate disregard to the bipartisan Congressional mandate of 2008. As Americans our unalienable rights are, endowed by Creator and protected by our Constitution. Our Constitution is in turn protected and defended by our active duty military and our veterans, for we were not released from our oath when we took off the uniform.
Thank you Col. Riley,
I agree 100%. The village idiot from Kenya does not speak for very many AMERICANS. Oh, I'm sure there are a few that reside in Hollywood and New York City that would follow him to hell but most Americans would have sense enough to tell him where to go and how to get there. If we can just keep the pressure on the congress during this lame duck session and get the rid of the anti-Americans in office we have a chance of making some real inroads in getting back to being a God-Fearing Nation again. The one most of us grew up in. Where praying for and fighting for our Nation was our Sacred Duty and an honor.
God Bless America. Nam Jul 66- Mar 68, Dec 71- Nov 72
This is disgusting. Please contact Congress and the White HOuse (I know, I can't believe I said that) and ask, no demand, that Mr. Rhodes be removed from any authority in the decision making process surrounding organizing the 50th Anniversary Ceremonies of the Vietnam War. Please!
One more slap to the face of all of our Veterans. This is truly disgusting!
I think this is one challenge the "Oath Keepers" should take a shot at...! How 'bout it guys...? Go to and take a look see...! Oooohhhh.... Raaaaahhhhh...! Semper Fi....!



Old Rooster created this Ning Network.

This effort is focused on sacrifice to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic.

Fox News

Tech Notes

Thousands of Deadly Islamic Terror Attacks Since 9/11


1. Click on State Groups tab at the top of the page.
2. Find your State Flag
3. Click on Flag.
4. Look for link to join Your State Group near the top of the State Groups page.
5. Click on it.

Follow the Prompts

How to post "live" URL in posts at PFA............. Adding URLs in blog posts that are not "live" is a waste of everyone's time.....
Here's how....if anyone has better guidance send to me.....
First........type your text entry into the post block to include typing or paste the URL you want us to view........when finished with the text, highlight and copy the URL in the text.......then click the "add hyperlink" tool in the B, I, U box just above the text entry, after clicking, a window will open asking for the URL...paste the URL in the box and click "OK". You have now made the URL "live" shows some code before the post is published, it goes away when you "publish post".......


© 2020   Created by Old Rooster.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service