GUEST POST BY ZACHARY ZUPAN
The most important event of my day on April 30, 2015, was not my professing socialist senator announcing a presidential campaign. On that day, I had the privilege of meeting a Vietnam veteran who came through my lane of a small-town Vermont grocery store. I thanked him for his service, but the veterans of Vietnam deserve more than gratitude. They deserve an apology.
What I could have told him was how sorry I am that he and his brothers in arms fought for a just cause, the extermination of an oppressive ideology, under the leadership of a government that would not follow through in achieving the victory he had fought for, but let the righteously shed blood of so many American men flow and dry in vain. I could have said how sorry I am that the forces of communism thwarted him in his own homeland while he was abroad.
I could have told him how sorry I am that he and his surviving brothers returned not to a humble and grateful nation as had all their forbears, but to a people among whom abode a small but vocal minority that spat their contempt at them like napalm, who made the lions of our country scapegoats, who offered no respite to the weary creditors of a debt that can never be repaid.
I could have told him how sorry, how truly sorry I am, that the very same oppressive ideology of forced wealth redistribution at gunpoint has taken hold in his home. How deeply sorry I am that a man like him could travel abroad to fight against socialism with all his might, and live to see the day when he would be scoffed at as a fossil for not embracing it. How inexpressibly sorry I am that someone American by birth – and in no other sense – adopting the very word affixed to this day to the name of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, came to his Green Mountain State and used it as a stepping stool in a quest for the highest office in his country.
How disgusted I am that Bernie Sanders’ name is pronounced by the liberal intelligentsia with a hushed awe no veteran would presume to claim for himself.
If you want to honor the sacrifices of the Vietnam veterans, a wonderful start would be refusing to enlist in the ranks of the enemy. That shouldn’t be too hard. You haven’t been drafted.