March 20, 2003 - Middletown Press: RPCV Walter Haan urges support of the men going into action

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2003: March 2003 Peace Corps Headlines: March 20, 2003 - Middletown Press: RPCV Walter Haan urges support of the men going into action

By Admin1 (admin) on Thursday, March 20, 2003 - 10:03 pm: Edit Post

RPCV Walter Haan urges support of the men going into action

Read and comment on this story from the Middletown Press on RPCV Walter Haan who urges support of the men going into action. Haan is a U.S Army veteran, serving during the Vietnam era. He also served in the Peace Corps during the 1960s prior to his military service. "I definitely feel we should be supporting our troops to the best of our ability. Itís important," Haan said. He added it does not matter whether a person supports a war, but the troops should be supported. "Whether you believe in the presidentís (decision) or not, these men are ready to give up their lives." Read the story at:

Liberty Weekend designed to support troops*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Liberty Weekend designed to support troops


Middletown Press Staff

March 20, 2003

With the deadline for Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq having passed Wednesday night, and the start of the bombing of the country citizens throughout the area will have a chance this weekend to show their support for the troops, no matter if they support President Bushís decision to attack or not.

Walter Haan, publisher of Middletown-based Southfarm Press and military history Web site, is urging support of the troops in a unique way from veterans of the armed services.

Following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, he encouraged veterans to show their support of current soldiers, sailors and airmen by wearing their original dog tags outside their shirts. Haan continues to encourage the veteransí support of the troops in the Middle East in the same manner.

"Thereís only really one way veterans can show their support; itís visually wearing their dog tags," Haan said. Normally dog tags are meant to be worn underneath clothing. "I feel itís better dog tags be outside to show support of the men going into action."

Haan is a U.S Army veteran, serving during the Vietnam era. He also served in the Peace Corps during the 1960s prior to his military service.

"I definitely feel we should be supporting our troops to the best of our ability. Itís important," Haan said. He added it does not matter whether a person supports a war, but the troops should be supported. "Whether you believe in the presidentís (decision) or not, these men are ready to give up their lives."

When Haan got out of the Army in 1966, as he was walking down an aisle at Grand Central Station, a gentleman in a suit asked him how many babies he killed, he said.

"This is not the way the servicemen should be treated," Haan said, adding that was what was wrong with Vietnam. "These men (during Vietnam) didnít have the respect of the country and were mistreated as they came back."

To contact Amy L. Zitka, call (860) 347-3331 ext. 211 or e-mail

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; War in Iraq; Vietnam



By Terry Adcock Colombia 1961-63 on Wednesday, March 26, 2003 - 1:53 pm: Edit Post

I opposed the invasion of Vietnam as vigorously as I now oppose the invasion of Iraq. I always had, and now have, the deepest respect for our service men and women.

I had no respect whatsoever for the blatant lies told to get those service men and women in harm's way. They deserve better than that!

When the veterans returned from Vietnam, I helped place them in civilian jobs through the Veterans' Readjustment Act. I would hope we would have a similar program this time.

In the meantime, I feel I can support them and their families best by getting them back home NOW!

I will continue to work toward that end. Please join me!

By john on Wednesday, April 02, 2003 - 1:25 pm: Edit Post

Our troops are in harm's way to overthrow a tyrant who has put our entire country and way of life in harm's way. Our armed forces are the best trained and most lethal on the face of the earth. Let them finish the job and then come home.

By Linda Sullivan on Wednesday, April 02, 2003 - 2:20 pm: Edit Post

I just want to remind everyone that the use of the word "men" to characterize our troops is no longer accurate and makes invisible the contribution and suffering of women currently serving (and not just in cushy desk jobs.) Indeed, some now are held as POWs.
As to whether or not the political purpose as defined by the current administration is one worth the sacrifice of our military personnel is not so cut and dry as some would have us believe. There are many tyrants in the world, some of whom our government calls friends. If our gov't was truly all about ridding the world of tyrants, why do we spend so much money supporting and arming so many of them? Indeed our gov't once called Mr Hussein a friend and they were quite happy, when it suited US political aims, to provide him with arms and even components of these weapons of mass destruction we are now so indignant about. The CIA even provided him with coordinates to use these weapons against those we then called enemy.
On the other hand, there are those who accept and support the theory of US hegemony. Some members of this current adminsistration (Perle, Wolfowitz, etc.)are at least willing to call a spade a spade. I am willing to support our troops but I am not willing to support the lie that we are fighting for some humanitarian motive in order to make the suffering of our troops more glorious. The peace movement has not put our soldiers in harm's way for less than noble reasons. The administration bears the full weight of that responsibility. It's Mr Bush who needs a lecture about supporting our troops. While he gets out there on the airwaves giving emotional and propagandistic speeches about our brave young troops, his administration quietly proposes reducing veterans' benefits. It took the US gov't years to acknowledge illnesses of vets from the last Gulf War, rendering them ineligible for benefits during that time. Veteran hospitals are so underfunded that substandard care has become commnon place and that is assuming the vet is not turned away at the door as my father was.
Again, just who needs to be reminded to support our troops? If our gov't didn't see fit to use military force to solve problems it created at an earlier time, we wouldn't even be having this conversation.

By qani belul on Wednesday, April 02, 2003 - 2:39 pm: Edit Post

I find it hypocritical for war protesters to say they support US troops. This is like vegetarians saying they support cattle ranchers, or death-penalty opponents proclaiming support for the executioners. Let's call a spade a spade. US troops have no business in Iraq and those of us against this imperialist war should speak out against it...and against the US troops involved.

By edward willett on Wednesday, April 02, 2003 - 4:47 pm: Edit Post

Regardless of how you feel about the war, remember that our service personnel are there because they are obligated to respond to orders received from the President, their Commander-in-Chief. Our military is not a political institution, so no debate over the merits of the conflict are permitted. Their role and mission is clear. If we have problems with the war, it is our elected representatives we should be addressing. The Congress gave the President the authorization to conduct this war and place our troops in battle. We are not obligated to support them, they can be recalled (voted out of office), but our troops deserve our support.

Before I was a Peace Corps Volunteer I was an enlisted man in the US Army, serving in Korea.
I have a son who is a Marine Corps Captain fighting in Iraq. He was at the Pentagon on 9/11 and was decorated for helping in the rescue and recovery efforts that day. When the President ordered our forces into battle, he went because he felt an obligation to his nation, the Marine Corps and his other comrade-in-arms.

While I have serious issues with this war, Iím still proud of my son and will support our troops, even as I continue my efforts to see this war comes to a swift conclusion.

Ed Willett - India 21

By ellegant on Wednesday, April 02, 2003 - 9:08 pm: Edit Post

I am flying an American flag day and night at my front door in support of our service people who are risking their lives due to an insane administration. I support the soliders, sailors, marines and flyers but not their Commander In Chief!

I pray the war to be over soon with no more loss of life on either side. Then I can get busy working on electing a new administration in Washington! Bush and his cronies have upset decades of good work by Peace Corps throughout the world. Walking tall and carrying a big stick does not work in this world. I wonder if his approach to the world would be different if he had been a PCV. His lack of empathy for other cultures and other ways of approaching issues is plain scary! (Rumsfeld too!)

Howard Ellegant - Colombia 64 to 66

By Jim Collins on Wednesday, April 02, 2003 - 9:24 pm: Edit Post

I support the troops by protesting the Irag invasion in the hopes of bringing the soldiers home from this insane imperialist adventure.

Opposing the invasion with its colateral maiming of civilians but supporting the soldiers once they are invading and maiming is like this: your son tells you he's going to rape Lindy Lou next door, you tell him this is totally wrong and under no circumstances should he do it; you turn around and he's assaulting the girl and you say oh what the hell he's already doing it, so you start cheering him on....

This invasion is completely wrong and will only lead to worldwide hatred of us. Ellegant, above, is absolutely right when he says the Bushmen "have upset decades of good work by Peace Corps throughout the world."

Jim Collins - Ecuador 67/68

By Leon A. Cloutier on Wednesday, April 02, 2003 - 10:55 pm: Edit Post

I have read some of the messages and find one who said he was a veteran before going into the Peace Corps, is one who understands why we are in war with Iraq. I too was a veteran who had been through two crisis and the Vietnam War, before joining the Peace Corps. I support the troops and the admistration for doing this action. Finally, we have someone in the White House who is not afraid to take action to protect our country and to the hell with world opinion. That's why Isreal has survived so long amongest its enemies. My wife and I lived more than two years in Iran, our first son was born there. We got to know the people, the muslem religion, and the political situation in that area. Their religion is repressive to the point that they keep their people ignorant of what goes on in the rest of the world and keeps them backward to progress. The Iraqi regeme has been very brutal to their people and most Iranians knew this. We also got to know some Afganis, who were in Iran as workers, because there country was so poor. There are no democratic governments in the Arab world, because their religion would loose control of the people and their power. One can not destabilize an area that has been that way for two thousand years. Yes I support the troops and hope that the war will be short and we can free the Iraqi people. Iran 1974-76

By Joanne Marie Roll (joey) on Thursday, April 03, 2003 - 10:26 am: Edit Post

I was an army brat before I was a PCV and I thank Ed Willett for so intelligently expressing the perspective I have. I pray for the safety of our soldiers and will work to bring them home as quickly as possible. I do not support a US Occupation of Iraq.
The United States Military has put more Americans to fight in Iraq in twelve days than the United States Peace Corps put in the Third World, in forty two years, to help. Here's a thought: What kind of world would we have today if the military and the peace corps have offered Americans, who volunteered to serve their country, the exact same opportunity and benefits? What if poor kids could have gotten a GI Bill through the peace corps? I think we would had a very small well trained military and a very large peace corps.
Most importantly, we would have had a huge RPCV community- all of whom had called another country home for a while and other people, friends. I don't think we would be at war. I think we would be safer. I think peace is the best defense.

By Ken Rustad on Thursday, April 03, 2003 - 7:15 pm: Edit Post

I'm a dual veteran and I've always supported our troops, so many are still in their teens. They are trained to carry out orders. Some things are done and said in their name that are phony which I tolerate because it helps their morale.

I am more worried what happens after the war. Will U.S. soldiers stationed in Muslim countries be sitting ducks for assasination? How will this war impact the security of PCVs and the viability of the Peace Corps itself? Will the doctrine of preemptive war minimize the coalitions with the United States more and more? Will the latter force the United States to pay off an increasing list of "allies" such as Turkey? My biggest fear is that the United States will get sucked into a holy war.

I support our troops but this does not answer any of my growing list of my questions.

Ken Rustad (Bolivia 62-64)

By Brandy Nicole Bourgoin on Wednesday, April 09, 2003 - 7:41 am: Edit Post

I am a high school student looking for my brother. His name is Robert Lawrence Bourgoin Jr. He was last known to be in Iraq but I cant find him. If you know any way that I can find the company that he is in please email me at Thank you!!!

By Janet Ritchie ( - on Monday, December 08, 2003 - 2:04 am: Edit Post

I wrote this for a mother to use to send overseas. I know how hard it is to find just the right card. I was asked to write it by someone that saw one of my postings on a poem site. Do you know if there is a site I can go on to share it with others.

Thank you

Two Hearts Together

You are with me in my heart wherever I may be,
Also in my prayers as I sit by the Christmas tree.
My mind is like an album filled with pictures I view
Memories of wonderful times I have shared with you.
They are what keeps me going and gets me through each day,
For my heart has felt a void since you went away.

Each night as I pray I ask God to watch over you,
To keep you safe in all that you do.
It's hard to believe that you are over there fighting,
Some of my thoughts have become so frightening.
You are part of me in each and every way,
In my thoughts and prayers every day.

So on Christmas day I will sit by my tree,
And pray for the day you come home safe to me.
I may not be there with you or tell you every day;
ĒI love you,Ē more than words can say.
We are two hearts together in all that we do.
God gave me my greatest gift when he gave me you.

Copyright JRGodstypist

By Dori Smith ( - on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 8:25 pm: Edit Post

It is February, nearly a year since the US invasion and occupation of Iraq began. Many people will be attending vigils on February 15th to call for peace.
If you do not know of a vigil in your area why not start one? You can look on this web site for ideas about how to organize.
There is no theme, no main idea. This is for all who care about ending the war and bringing the troops home.
and Peace

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