The Pandernator

Sometimes, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ability to pander amazes and awes even me. One week it’s the environmentalists, the next it’s the firefighters. Everybody needs help, everybody needs some special exemption or set-aside.

This week, it’s Vietnam Vets. Specifically, it’s our governor’s call for us to celebrate the “first annual” Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day:

“Many years have passed since the Vietnam War was waged, and despite the divisions that existed in our country, our troops continuously demonstrated the best of the American spirit by performing amazing acts of heroism,” Arnold says in this press release. “Our Vietnam veterans deserve our respect and recognition for everything they did to defend freedom, which is why I am proud to proclaim March 30 as Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.”

Let’s ignore Schwarzenegger’s use of the word “continuously” in the sentence about American troops being heroic during the war. What’s up with this being the “first annual” Welcome Home day? I mean, didn’t the war end 35 years ago?

-Anthony Pignataro

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  1. StevefromSacto
    StevefromSacto 25 March, 2010, 15:47

    This is outrageous! The only people Arnold should pander to are his campaign contributors.

    Reply this comment
  2. EastBayLarry
    EastBayLarry 26 March, 2010, 08:04

    As a Viet Nam vet who was greeted with distain when I returned home, I still say this whole idea is a waste of time/money and a distraction from Californias’ very real problems.

    Reply this comment
  3. StevefromSacto
    StevefromSacto 26 March, 2010, 10:27

    I actually agree with Larry on this. STOP THE PRESSES!

    Reply this comment
  4. José G. Ramos
    José G. Ramos 27 March, 2010, 06:58

    Mr. Pignataro, my name is José G. Ramos. I would first like for you to know that I am the founder of Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day (WHVVD). WHVVD was not the idea of the Governor – it is mine.

    I am a Vietnam Veteran – you fail to state if you are. I served as a combat Medic with some of the bravest men this country has ever seen. On panel 40 E of the Vietnam Wall in Washington D.C. there are ten men’s names who will be joined for eternity because on February 19, 1968 they paid the ultimate price, fighting for something they believed in, the United States of America and ALL that It stands for.

    I, as a medic, failed to save all the lives of all my wounded Warriors – these are just ten of those brave men.

    There was a big mistake made when the Vietnam Veterans came home, but America is honorable and honest. She knows when She has made a mistake and will stand up and admit that error.

    I began my WHVVD campaign in 2000. The United States Congress and the Senate both unanimously passed my WHVVD resolution in 2006 because they agreed that it is not too late to heal an old wound.

    At my request and with the help of Combat Veteran and California State Assemblymember Paul Cook, Governor Schwarzenegger signed into legislation AB 717 proclaiming March 30th of every year as WHVVD.

    The Vietnam Veterans of America California State Council and their National Headquarters have both fully thrown their support into this day of recognition. Today, there are 17 states with similar legislation pending.

    So, although I respect your opinion and your right to express it, I think it means little to the men and women who not only have waited nearly four decades to hear “thank you and welcome home.” These Vietnam Veterans fully support this day of recognition, not only for themselves, but because with this date on the calendar, we will pave the road for the new Veterans so that THEIR service is never demeaned or forgotten.

    José G. Ramos

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