It needs to be clarified to some or reinforced in their understanding of what a War Veteran is and what qualifies someone to be given and recognized with that honor. I see people wearing hats, clothing, medals, insignias, etc, articles written about them, pictures taken, recognition given and the list goes on of their being a War Veteran when in actuality they are not. Let’s get something straight. A veteran of a foreign war or who is a war veteran is someone who served during that particular war or conflict in that countries combat zone, territorial waters or airspace, period. If you did not leave the United  States  of America, you are not a war veteran and do not deserve such recognition. You are a veteran of that era not war, a big difference. As it is with myself. I served during the Viet Nam war but I did not go to Viet  Nam, I did not leave the United States so I am not, I repeat, not a Viet Nam veteran, I am only a veteran of the Viet Nam Era deserving no medals, ribbons, insignias, hats, jackets or anything of that nature indicating I was a Viet Nam Veteran.
     For those who profess to be that of any war or conflict is an absolute disgrace to the military, as you’re not only discrediting yourself but worse of all you have dishonored and disgraced the true war hero and there are many who go unrecognized and many who do not discuss or advertise their dedication and suffering. The pretenders should be ashamed but shame only comes from the true of heart. So for those of you who are pretenders or a wanna be, take off that cap, medals, insignias, give back that little wooden plague or letter of recognition. Don’t even go to the back of the bus, just get off and let the true war veteran have your seat and shake his honorable hand when you do.
     Speaking of true war veterans and deserving recognition, there are many in our community but one family stands out that few know of. Russell Vannostrand, past commander of the V.F.W. and other offices came from a family of nine sons. All but one served their country in the military and that one was refused because of a medical disability even though he repeatedly tried to enlist by lying about his disability. Five brothers served and fought in W.W.II, Russ and the other two brothers served and fought in Korea. All volunteered, survived the war and came home. I don’t think anymore has to said or enough words could be said. Thanks guys and to all veterans and especially the true War Veteran.

Dave Anderson
Broadalbin, N.Y.