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For those of us old enough to remember the Sixties
by Mark Neckameyer


August 27, 2004

One way you can tell that you are getting old is when you can remember when "historical" things happened and it doesn't seem all that long ago. For instance, I remember the Kennedy assassination, where I was, what I was doing ... seems like a few months ago. Likewise, when I saw Max Cleland attempting to deliver a letter from Senator Kerry to President Bush about stopping the Swiftboat Vets for Truth ads, the events of the Sixties and the Viet Nam era came back to me in a rush. Max Cleland is not from near here. He served in the Senate representing the State of Georgia so I had not seen his name in a long while but in the anti war protest era, Max Cleland was a significant person.

The young anchor people on FOX Cable News and CNN as well as writers in newspaper articles referred to Mr. Cleland as a "war hero" who had lost three limbs in Viet Nam. This is technically true. Max did lose three limbs in Viet Nam but his injury was due to an accident involving a hand grenade carelessly handled by Mr Cleland himself during a non combat time. I also recall that there was even a question if alcohol was involved as there was beer present when the accident occurred. Mr. Cleland went on to lead anti war organizations including demonstrations against the Viet Nam War and was often seen on TV with Jane Fonda and other Left leaning anti-war activists of the time.

Mr. Cleland was certainly brave in recovering from his wounds and injuries to win a Senate seat in Georgia although he served only one term and was defeated after voting against the Homeland Security Act and not supporting other defense bills and issues important to the very defense interested voters of Georgia. Given Senator Kerry's obvious desire to move away from his own Jane Fonda and anti war connections, to me anyway, Mr. Cleland seems to be an odd choice for a personal representative ... for those of us old enough to remember the Sixties anyway.

Mark Neckameyer
Irvine, CA - USA



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