The Ghost Of Conflicts Past

This is from Bosun. He has made some good points and has given us the benefit of his experience.

Vietnam war deserter regrets flight to Canada in 1968
Tri-City Herald, Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, Washington
Associated Press Mar. 21, 2006

–AMYAHK, British Columbia – A Vietnam war-era deserter who was caught crossing into the United States and held for a week says he made a mistake when he fled the Marine Corps in 1968.”When I was 18, I wasn’t aware that duty and honor would mean as much to me as they do now,” Allen Abney, 56, said Monday in this southeast British Columbia town.” Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t have done what I did 38 years ago,” he said. “It wasn’t worth it, all the pain I caused my family.” Abney was arrested March 9 while crossing the border to Idaho, something he had done countless times before, but he said that was the first time he was asked for birth certificate as identification. When the Customs agent asked him to pull over, Abney said, he knew he was in trouble. For the rest of the story: War Deserter

Bosun’s comments and observations:

First: Hard saying what really was going on by reading just one lone article in the news about Abney. If he grew up in Canada, was his mother or his father Canadian? Would he have been eligible for “Dual Citizenship?” I have several questions on his actual status.

We all know that newspapers sometimes print what a person says without knowing all the facts, or they print liberal, or, conservative media bias. If Mr Abney grew up in Canada, perhaps he should have stayed there. As far as his brother being drafted, not sure if he would have felt obligated to join. Lot of guys in the Viet Nam era requested and prayed for deferments. I had a deferment until I finished a trade school and then I was reclassified to 1-A overnight. I was one step ahead of my draft notice when I joined the service.

The Viet Nam experience altered a lot of lives, both sides of the fence. I do not minimize the experience by looking at our human accounts of the experience as someone recently told me, “one of thousands of stories.” The Viet Nam experience impacted lives and profoundly impacted world events. We cannot minimize the Viet Nam experience and dismiss those experiences as “stories.”

Unfortunately, Mr. Abney made a decision when he was 18 to run from his military duty. He was one of about 70,000 dodger and evaders who decided to bail out of the United States and live in Canada. I am not sure how many were deserters of those 70,000.

We lost about 47,413 of our Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard personnel in combat during Viet Nam.

I do respect Mr. Abney for apologizing. Now, he should return to his home in Canada.

I encourage you to go to Bosun’s site and read the rest of this. It is right on the mark.

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