"War is and ugly thing, but not the ugliest thing; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing is worth war is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares about more than his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of living free, unless made and kept so by better men than himself." --- John Stuart Mill, 1850

Reflections on April 30, 1975

(As ones who experience this sad state of affairs and still live with the guilt, it is our obligation to ensure it does not happen again.  We did not see our WWII/Korean brothers stand with us against the leftist media and anti-war groups, they were part of the silent majority and allowed a small band of rag bags defeat us.  We will not allow this to happen again to those who are serving now, we will stand and speak out.  The anti-war and left leaning communist are not going to have such an easy go of it this time.--RLNoe)

I was privileged to serve 22 years in the United States Army, 18 of those years in Special Forces - the finest military unit in the history of mankind.  The men of Special Forces that I served with were, and are, the greatest warriors and comrades that I have ever known, and that includes those that I have come to know after Vietnam.

29 years ago today, I witnessed first hand, the greatest humiliation ever suffered by the United States of America - the fall of Republic of Vietnam.  Vietnam fell, not because of those of us in the military who fought and died there, but because of American politicians and a weak American public who had lost the will to fight for freedom.  When I rode that last helicopter out of Ton Sanh Nhut Airbase that night 29 years ago I could only think about not only my comrades in Special Forces who had paid the ultimate price but of all the 58,000 American soldiers who had died, literally for nothing, and the 1 million Vietnamese soldiers who had died defending their homeland.  What a waste!  A year later, 200,00 Vietnamese people voted with their feet, leaving their homeland forever in the face of North Vietnamese atrocities. 

I hope, and I pray to God every day of my life that President Bush and our leaders, will not abandon the people of Iraq under political pressure from the liberal media and the left wing vocal minority as we did in Vietnam. If this happens, we might as well hang it up and give it up.  700 plus more precious American lives will have been sacrificed for naught.  Freedom is not free.  You and I know this.  When will our neighbors know it?

Thanks for listening to an old man.

De Oppresso Liber

George Petrie
Major, United States Army Special Forces Retired


"You have never lived until you have almost died.
For those who have fought for it, life has a special flavor the protected will never know."