In Honor of Vietnam Vets

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In Honor of Vietnam Vets

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    Rana Goodman

    By Nelson Orth

    An open letter to SCA President, Steve Anderson:

    Mr. Anderson:

    I have read your May 26 President’s Report three times. Each time I become angrier and angrier. Memorial Day was May 30, but there was not one word in your report about the importance of this day to our country. This report was shocking, yet understanding, to me. There is a history of disrespect by the SCA BOD and SCA-TV against veterans, especially Vietnam Veterans.

    Let me provide you with the history of an event that occurred in 1972. In that year Jane Fonda traveled to North Vietnam in support of the anti-Vietnam cause. She stayed there for five days. At that time, I was stationed on a ship in the Gulf of Tonkin, so I have some credibility on the events that occurred during that period. I have several stories that I can provide to you, but I will only share the one that has labeled Jane Fonda a traitor to our country. That label remains to this day and will remain as long as our history remains.

    On the last day of her visit, the North Vietnamese assembled, as I remember, 15 to 18 US prisoners of war. They cut their hair, shaved their faces, provided showers to them, and provided them with clean clothes. They lined them up, and Jane Fonda walked down the line, and shook hands with every POW. All of this was recorded on TV as publicity for the North Vietnamese.

     During this time, it is important to remember that there was an important distinction between Missing in Action (MIA) and Killed in Action (KIA).

    The reason for this importance is that insurance companies could not pay the beneficiaries if a person was MIA. Our POWs knew this, and four of them, when they shook Jane Fonda’s hand, handed her their Social Security Number. When Jane Fonda reached the end of the line, and the cameras were shut off, she handed those four slips of paper to the North Vietnamese. The North Vietnamese then beat to death two of those prisoners, and the other two were so severely beaten, they were never able to again live normal lives.

    Several years ago, SCA-TV endorsed and further enhanced Jane Fonda’s acting career by covering a movie she appeared in. I was able to accept this endorsement but asked both the BOD and SCA-TV to allow me to provide the history of Jane Fonda to SCA homeowners as I have just described above. Both denied my request.

     I then asked the Veterans Club to support my request. They also refused, stating they do not get involved in politics or disputes with the board. I was one of the first people who placed my name on the SCA Veterans Wall. After this incident, I had my name removed.

    Nelson Orth.

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