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Vietnam Veterans for Factual History

3307 Raleigh Row

Missouri City, TX 77459-6768

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund

2600 Virginia Ave NW, Suite 104

Washington, DC  20037

Dear Mr. Scruggs,

Like many other Vietnam veterans across the nation, we were pleased a decade ago, when Congress authorized the establishment of an Education Center at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. to be jointly managed by your organization and the National Park Service.  The subsequent announcement that the Center will have a Content Advisory Committee was also gratifying, but we are deeply concerned about the lack of balance in the announced members of that committee.

While it contains some individuals with academic qualifications in the history of the war, it contains others with no relevant academic qualifications or military experience. More importantly, none of the academic members represent what is often called the “revisionist” school of historians, who challenge the view that the war was immoral, unwinnable, irrelevant to U.S. interests, a quagmire/stalemate, or a U.S. military defeat by peasant guerillas. Most Vietnam veterans share our revisionist view of the war, and for that reason, as well as for academic balance, qualified proponents of our view should be added to the Committee.

Public opinion polls suggest that most Vietnam veterans share the opinion that the war was essentially won by 1972–when the South Vietnamese forces supported by U.S. air power, but no U.S. ground troops, repulsed a massive Blitzkrieg attack by more than a dozen modern, well-equipped Divisions of the North Vietnamese Army.  In 1973, Congress slashed the funding for war supplies to South Vietnam, which we believe guaranteed the success of the next NVA invasion.

We believe strongly that the Advisory Committee should include some intellectual diversity, including both historians who share the views of most Vietnam veterans and veterans who saw the war first-hand.  We commend your success in separating the memorial to honor those who served and died in the war from the policy disputes about the war. But if the Content Advisory Committee is deprived of the viewpoint shared by most Vietnam veterans, the resulting controversy will be most unfortunate.

We are not asking you to exclude anyone from the panel.  We only ask that you add to it three distinguished revisionist historians of the war: Dr. Robert F. Turner, Dr. Lewis Sorley, and Dr. Mark Moyar, and at least one distinguished veteran of the war, such as Senator James Webb, who shares our view.  We will be delighted to supply you with other candidates from whom to choose as well.

If these changes are not made, most veterans and their families who visit the Education Center may leave with the impression that the war was unnecessary, immoral, and unwinnable.  The veterans your memorial seeks to honor deserve better than that.  We appreciate your kind consideration of our request and look forward to having this work out for the common good.

 

Respectfully,

 

 

 

MG Patrick Brady, US Army (Ret.)               Maj. Drew Dix, US Army (Ret.)

Medal of Honor Recipient                                Medal of Honor Recipient

 

Col. Roger H. C. Donlon, US Army (Ret.)   Col. Wesley Fox, USMC (Ret.)

Medal of Honor Recipient                                Medal of Honor Recipient

 

Admiral Tom Hayward, USN (Ret.)              General Alfred M. Gray, Jr., USMC (Ret.)

Former Chief of Naval Operations                  29th Commandant

 

General P.X. Kelley, USMC (Ret.)

28th Commandant

 

The Honorable Jeremiah A. Denton, Jr., Rear Admiral USN (Ret.)

Former United States Senator (R-AL)

 

Rear Admiral William J. McDaniel, USN (Ret.)

Distinguished orthopedic surgeon, former U.S. Pacific Command Surgeon

 

Rear Admiral Lloyd “Joe” Vasey, USN (Ret.)

Head of Strategic Plans and Policies for US Pacific Command, 1969-1972

 

The Honorable Charles S. Ciccolella, Col. US Army (Ret.)

Former Asst. Secretary of Labor for Veterans Employment

 

Col. Andrew R. Finlayson, USMC (Ret.)

Author of Killer Kane: A Marine Long-Range Recon Team Leader in Vietnam, 1967-1968

 

Capt. Eugene “Red” McDaniel, USN (Ret.)    

Former POW, author of Scars and Stripes

 

Lt.Col. Michael Lee Lanning, U.S. Army (Ret.)

Author of Inside the VC and the NVA and seven other books on the war

 

Capt. Philip Jennings, USMC, Viet Nam 1965-66 and Laos 1968-1970

Author and Lecturer on the Vietnam War

 

B.G. Burkett, US Army, June 1968 to May 1969

Vietnam Veteran, author of Stolen Valor

 

Robert Caldwell, US Army, Viet Nam 1966-67

Professional journalist, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2001

 

John Del Vecchio, US Army, Viet Nam, 1970-71

Author of The 13th Valley

 

Michael Benge, Former Civilian POW

Received State Dept Highest Award for Heroism for rescue of 11 USAID personnel

 

Sol W. Sanders, Journalist with extensive experience in Viet Nam

Author of A Sense of Asia, 1969, and numerous other books on Asia

 

Dr. K. W. Taylor, Professor of Vietnamese Studies, Cornell University

Author of “A History of the Vietnamese” (Cambridge University Press, 2013)

 

Dr. James S. Robbins, Senior Fellow for National Security Affairs on the American Foreign Policy Council

Commentator & Professor, author of several books, including This Time We Win: Revisiting the Tet Offensive

 

 

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