< Letters

Transcript

Friday, February 09, 2007

BOB GARFIELD:
We had quite a few responses to our interview with sociologist Jerry Lembcke about exaggerated accounts of spitting on soldiers during wars, especially the Vietnam War. His research suggested it was largely a myth. But John Miller writes, quote, "Thought you might find this interesting. A law professor at Northwestern named Jim Lindgrin has debunked Lembcke by going through archives and finding many stories documenting spat-upon veterans in the sixties and seventies, including a front-page New York Times story by James Reston."
BROOKE GLADSTONE:
Julia Evans wrote in to say that her brother spent two tours of duty in Vietnam, and when he returned, an older man approached him in the San Francisco airport and spat on his uniform. She continues, quote, "I do not think that at the time these acts meant that we could have won if everyone supported it. What it meant was simply that we felt shame. I realize that Mr. Lembcke is not saying that they didn't happen. However, I don't want others to think that they were all myth.

My brother went over there in a fog of patriotism and idealism, even though the rest of the family, by the time he enlisted, were against that war, especially our father. My brother told me later that he never realized our father was against the war. I'm just glad he came home alive."
BOB GARFIELD:
And we received this from Specialist Pete Joyce, who identifies himself as an infantryman in the Army, currently serving a tour in Baghdad. He writes, quote, "I've heard countless claims from war buddies that they got spat at after their last deployment, but it never happened to me, and I've never witnessed it personally.

Aside from the handful of Americans who lie on the fringe of political ideology, both spitters and Fox News enthusiasts, I want to voice my support for all of those at home who continue to be passionate and active citizens. There is nothing more American than voicing your opinion, whether it be in protest of the war or in support of current policy. Thank you, protestors, for preserving our America at home, while we soldiers fight to protect it abroad."
BROOKE GLADSTONE:
And thank all of you who wrote in to us. Keep us clued in at onthemedia@wnyc.org, and don't forget to tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name.
BOB GARFIELD:
Up next, "America's Mayor" is in the campaign mode, but he's from Brooklyn. Can he be made over into America's President?
BROOKE GLADSTONE:
This is On the Media from NPR.