Vets react to bin Laden's death

Tuesday, May 3, 2011 - 1:17pm

The death of Osama bin Laden came as a surprise Sunday night, and a relief after so many years. And while all Americans were overjoyed that this chapter was closed, some have a unique viewpoint. No one knows the feeling of rushing headlong into danger like a combat veteran. So they heard the news of bin Laden’s death with a  lightly different point of view.

We’ve all seen the videos of Americans celebrating the end of one of the longest manhunts in history. Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts discovered, the attack planned, and the world’s number one terrorist killed. And locally, the reactions were, well, predictable.

So we decided to visit the local American Legion hall and talk about the weekend’s news with a couple of Viet Nam Veterans.

“We’re glad they finally got him. We’re just sorry it took ten years for it to take place,” says Dennis Jackson who fought in Viet Nam in 1971. “They’re all brothers in arms, and they did a fantastic job.”

And we sat in the legion post, and two old soldiers talked about then and now. “I did two tours,” said another who didn’t want to be identified.

“Compared with the guys you worked with and what you see here?” I asked.

“Oh, hell, we fought with stone axes,” he relied. “These kids that are over there now. They had their heads on right when they joined.” The one feeling about the weekend’s action in Pakistan is universal.

“And like I said, we’re just glad it’s over with,” Dennis concluded, “and hopefully, it is over with.”

By the way, Dennis and the others are adamant about one big difference between then and now. The all volunteer military is the way to go.

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