Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Thoughts On America

Leroy73_edited_sm.jpg In 1976 our great nation will celebrate its 200th year of independence. The 200 years of freedom and prosperity have not come easy. Millions of Americans of all races and creeds have expended a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to secure and maintain our freedom. From the Minute Men at Lexington to the Army of the Potomac, the dough- boys of World War I and the sailors at Leyte Gulf, from the men of the Army Air Force in the skies over Ploesti to the Marines at Chosin Reservoir, or the Green Berets in the jungles of South Viet Nam, our Armed Forces have been ready to fight and to die to protect our freedom and that of our allies.

We have just completed one of the longest wars in our history. It was without a doubt the most misunderstood conflict in which our Armed Forces have ever been engaged. Many people in the United States feel the war was completely unnecessary. But since I was there I feel qualified in a small way to comment on what I saw and heard. The government of North Viet Nam has always felt that the United States is their mortal enemy. The United States stands for everything that they as communists are trying to eradicate in their country. Be it religion or just the truth, the “Party” in North Viet Nam is against it. In reading one of their propaganda books one day, I came across a quote from the late Ho Chi Minh. I feel it states their entire outlook. The quote is “Truth is what helps the revolution.” The leaders of North Vietnam only tell the people what they want them to hear. Over the six years I was there I had the opportunity to see and hear them change the party line several times. All it took was a “fall guy” to blame, telling the new story enough time and soon it would be accepted.

We in the United States have always believed in telling the truth. Don’t we as graduates remember the Honor Code as one of the finest parts of our education? Wouldn’t it be great if everyone in the world understood and lived by the Code?

Our nation may have some problems at this time with the energy crisis, the Middle East, and Watergate. But take it from me; we are so far ahead of whatever is in second place that there is no comparison.

We have only two more years until 1976, so let us all pull together and make the Minute Men of 1776 proud of us and the country they built.

(By Captain Leroy W. Stutz, ‘64, Checkpoints, December 1973)
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