I know better that to post - but what Senator Kerry testified to at that time was the truth. Just like the truth that was posted above. One person's opinion. Senator Kerry was a part of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. As such membership in that organisation meant you needed to have been there.
Like LH said - in WW-II lots of atrocities were committed by both sides. In Korea it was reported that infantrymen sighted in their rifles by shooting at rice farmers out in their fields. I know this for a fact as several of my Company Gunnery Sergeants were in Korea and saw it.
As far as what Senator Kerry testified to in 1971 the National Guard was a place to hide from Vietnam service. As a former VA employee and resident of Idaho I can tell you that the angriest service members I ever met were from Orofino, Idaho - they lost the toss of the dice and ended up in Vietnam. And they joined to stay OUT of Vietnam.
The letter is just one person's opinion. and thumping their chest with their service being "tougher" and "everyone knew it" stuff is just that - their opinion. Maybe the author ought to go talk to those of us who fought up on the DMZ the first time. Or the Army troops who fought in the Au Shau in November of 65. Both of those had it far worse than any snoop and poop outfit that ever served in Vietnam - with the notable exception of a few Navy Seals operations.
From personal experience I can tell you that all of the things Senator Kerry testified to in those days was true. That we want to write it off to Vietnam being this fine little war we went in and helped everyone out just plain sucks the big one. That's history, and history is written by those who came after with an agenda dictated by those in power. I can tell you that the reason the WW-II vets were so angry with us when we came home talking about what we had seen and experienced was simply this - they had those same crimes in their past and did not want the shame to well up and overwhelm them with the sorrow of what it was to go to war as an active participant.
The really sorry aspect of this whole thing is simply this. 40 freaking years later Vietnam Veterans are still a divided entity. We have not come together in Brotherhood. We still seem to find it necessary to compare the hate during the war to today - and it simply is an old dog that does not hunt anymore. Senator Kerry and President Bush served their country and it should not be an issue in deciding this election.
And as far as the Montegnards go - they got killed long before Senator Kerry got involved in the political aspects of the attempts to bring them here. That was a decision made by the remnants of President Nixon's administration under Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. Read your history for crying out loud. I certainly empathise with the man - the Green Berets worked hard at keeping those tribes loyal to the US effort in Vietnam. Often at great personal sacrifice. My hat's off to them for what they did.
I can also tell you that we Marines built for the Vietnamese. Dug ditches, wells, built roads, cared for the kids, and all of the other things troops do for children in a hostile fire zone. But we also killed them. Not on purpose for the most part. But it happened.
I better shut the crap up - my last tirade got me in trouble -
And for the record - I still think Iraq was a justified action - and yes my children are home safe from it. My Brother is currently missing in Afghanistan but I am hopeful he is just too busy to let me know he is OK.