This letter is from Major Bruce P. Crandall in Viet Nam to his family who live on Scenic Hill. In November, Major Crandall was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his bravery during a non-scheduled medical evacuation.

We over here read a lot about the student demonstrations and the parades against our government policy here in Vietnam. It is disgusting to us who are professional soldiers but it is particularly tough on the draftees and the first hitch men who are with us. We know what we are doing is right and as far as the U.S. soldier committing crimes against the local population that is absolute rubbish. Our GIs give up their own medicine and often their own gear to help the unfortunate local civilians who are caught in the middle of this miserable mess. As often as not the aid given these unfortunates end up in the hands of the V.C. and being used against us. Only in a country where we have men such as these over here, who are willing to fight and die for the privileges of freedom of speech, freedom of thought and freedom to express your political views as you see fit; could parades and demonstrations such as have been taking place in the U.S. occur. These young folks are either stupid to not see these obvious truths or we have a stronger communist movement in the U.S. then we suspected.

Death is not something I fear nor do I fear this for my men. What I do fear is wasted death for a young American who doesn’t appreciate the wonderful land they live in. If we teach our sons nothing in their life times but the real value of being born and raised in a country where they have the opportunity to better themselves and the live as they see fit then we will have succeeded far better than the parents of many of our young people today.

I wonder whatever became of the patriotism and honor of the American youth of yesterday. It is time for the true picture to be shown and for the majority of young people to make their voices heard. I know in my heart that most American youth believe in their good fortune to be Americans but they do not demonstrate nor are they loud and obvious in their gratitude. They do not counter the impression of unrest and dissatisfaction shown by the small minority of fanatics. I am not in a position to judge the youth of America today, but if I were, I would find both the fanatic and the quiet wanting. It is just as great a sin to sit by and do nothing as it is to join in whole heartedly on the wrong side.

Those who create this picture of unrest are extending the length of the war in this country. By allowing civil unrest in the U.S. we are receiving unfavorable publicity in foreign presses and the communist are gaining more strength in the organizations which support this program in the U.S.

I hope none of my sons ever have to fight a war but if they must to preserve the freedom and way of life of our people, I hope they fight with every ounce of their strength, fearlessly and willingly. It is not necessary to be blind – not to see nor deaf – not to hear.

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