During our telephone chat yesterday, you provided quite little information--though clearly you are very unhappy that anyone would question Bill Schiebler's candor. Perhaps you haven't listened closely to those stories--as I can't find anyone who considers them plausible. Indeed, I don't think you consider them plausible--and to test my theory I have requested we focus upon one of Mr. Schiebler's claims, of which you are already aware and to which you haven't yet responded substantively.
During our call, you asked if I was a Vietnam veteran. (I am not--and was 13 years old on the day the Vietnam War ended.) My hunch is that you were suggesting that people who are not Vietnam veterans have no business commenting upon Mr. Schiebler's rectitude.
Perhaps I'm wrong; perhaps you didn't mean to so imply. But since you clearly weren't going to be forthcoming, I was forced to guess as to your viewpoint.
If I am correct, and you do believe non-veterans have no business assessing the integrity of a veteran set to receive Eden Prairie's highest honor, then I want to make clear my firm dissent. It is incumbent upon citizens to take action when they observe the community bestowing a high honor upon a person emphatically undeserving thereof.
When a veteran publicly lies about his record, he forfeits his right to any laurels for his service. By rescinding Eden Prairie's invitation to have Bill Schiebler serve as this year's keynote speaker, we defend the dignity of all honorable veterans. By failing to so rescind, we sully the reputation of America's Vietnam veterans.
We often hear that when Vietnam veterans returned to the USA, they were disrespected by their countrymen. To the extent that this claim is true, it is regrettable: The Vietnam war was a military, humanitarian and moral disaster for which millions of Americans bear responsibility. Scapegoating those who served was and is a reprehensible strategy for assuaging our national ego.
By criticizing Bill Schiebler's numerous dishonesties, I am in no way engaging in veteran-spitting--and am, on the contrary, defending the honor of upright Vietnam vets.
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