A Jan. 12 letter had this headline: "Trump's fighting for all of us and winning." At first glance, I thought it was some kind of sick joke. Then, I noticed my name in the first sentence as the writer implied I was lying about Trump.
As I thought about the idea of Trump "fighting," my mind went back to March 31, 1968. I was one of the first pilots to return to Vietnam for a second tour and had already served nine months on that tour. Two of the Chinooks I commanded had been put out of commission (one totally destroyed) during the preceding three months. On March 31, my commander gathered all 12 of his pilots (half of whom were under my command) in our underground bunker and briefed us on the next day's operation. It would be Operation Pegasus, the relief of the siege of Khe Sanh, which had been ongoing for months despite B-52s dropping 100,000 tons of bombs. He told us, "In two weeks, some of you won't be here." He was almost correct. On April 19, we launched Operation Delaware in the A Shau Valley and lost three Chinooks and a Flying Crane the first day. One of my pilots, who was younger than Trump was at the time, became so sick with combat fatigue I could no longer put him on missions. He had enough guts to come over and fight, unlike a certain individual whose daddy bribed a doctor to attest to fake bone spurs.
The writer then engages in the Republican tactic of "whataboutism," talking about previous presidents and their real or imagined faults. He doesn't mention one thing that Trump has done that has resulted in "winning." Is it the 13,000 lies? The trillion-dollar deficits? Hating POWs, Gold Star families, and the handicapped? Welfare for the rich? Angering our allies? In bed with our enemies?
Carl L. Hess