National Guard August 2012 : Page 6

LETTERS & UPDATES Softer, Please I was taken aback by the tone of com-ments from Pete Duffy, the NGAUS acting legislative director, in the July 3 Washington Report , the association weekly e-newsletter. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the ranking member of the Senate Com-mittee on Veterans Affairs, is opposed to a House-passed bill “that would confer legal veteran status on National Guard and Reserve retirees who serve 20 years but have not been called to Title 10 duty.” I’m glad Duffy is working to inform Capitol Hill on our behalf. However, in recent years I’ve been concerned about the tone of discourse used by any group to which I belong, whether it is AARP or NGAUS or whatever. Burr is concerned that conferring veteran status would lead to additional benefits. Perfectly understandable in these fiscal times, I’d say. “The opposition appears grounded on nothing more than bias against our community,” Duffy said. Really? Isn’t “bias” a bit of overkill? The item continued: “Duffy noted that Guardsmen who are called in the wake of hurricanes or to fight wild-fires could retire without veteran sta-tus. However, active-component ‘desk jockeys’ who never leave the Pentagon would have that recognition.” Is the use of “desk jockeys” against active-component service members any less of a pejorative than “weekend warriors”? I’ve lobbied legislators and I under-stand that Duffy has a tough, enervat-ing job advocating for NGAUS and members like me. But there’s plenty enough vitriol in American society today. Let’s have the National Guard mes-sage continue to be delivered in the most enlightening, educational and positive manner possible. Retired Col. Peter D. Fox Michigan Army National Guard vacancies ( “Split Apart,” Guard Roots, May 2012 ). Very few today realize the demoral-izing nature of the levy system and the impact it had on unit morale, espe-cially upon returning to home station. My father was a company com-mander in the Iowa National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 133rd Infantry, in 1968 when the unit was mobilized in sup-port of Vietnam. He was levied out of Fort Carson, Colo., leaving a majority of his unit behind, eventually finding himself assigned to the 4th Infantry Division as a replacement infantry officer. I can tell you that until the day he died, he was convinced that his old Company B would have stood toe-to-toe with any active-component infantry company in Vietnam if only given a collective chance. Again, thanks for the work on this article. It’s about time someone acknowledged the other 12 mobilized Army National Guard organizations that contributed to the Vietnam War. Col. Michael G. Amundson Iowa Army National Guard Valuable Spotlight I want to thank retired Master Sgt. Bob Haskell for bringing to light the levy system used in 1968 to push National Guard soldiers into Vietnam in order to fill active-component Reaching N ATIONAL G UARD Letters Tell us how we’re doing or share your opinion on something you read in N ATIONAL G UARD in 250 words or less. Advertisers this Month Ace Electronics Defense Systems ......................................................... 17 Advertising Showcase: NGAUS 2012 Exhibitors ............................ 39-40 Aero Dynamix Inc. .................................................................................. 15 Air Force Village ..................................................................................... 43 Alenia North America ............................................................. 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How to Submit Your Materials All submissions* should include your rank, full name, state National Guard affiliation, phone number and e-mail address. You may submit your materials three different ways: 1. E-mail: magazine@ngaus.org (preferred method) 2. Fax: 202-682-9358 3. Mail: N ATIONAL G UARD magazine One Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20001 *The content must be of interest to a predominately military audience. We reserve the right to edit submissions for length and clarity. Connect With Us Change of Address Submit updates to the NGAUS Membership Department by e-mail members@ngaus.org, phone 888-226-4287 or the members-only section of www.ngaus.org. 6 | Na tional Guard

Letters & Updates

Softer, Please I was taken aback by the tone of comments from Pete Duffy, the NGAUS acting legislative director, in the July 3 Washington Report, the association weekly e-newsletter.<br /> <br /> Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, is opposed to a House-passed bill “that would confer legal veteran status on National Guard and Reserve retirees who serve 20 years but have not been called to Title 10 duty.” <br /> <br /> I’m glad Duffy is working to inform Capitol Hill on our behalf. However, in recent years I’ve been concerned about the tone of discourse used by any group to which I belong, whether it is AARP or NGAUS or whatever.<br /> <br /> Burr is concerned that conferring veteran status would lead to additional benefits. Perfectly understandable in these fiscal times, I’d say.<br /> <br /> “The opposition appears grounded on nothing more than bias against our community,” Duffy said.<br /> <br /> Really? Isn’t “bias” a bit of overkill? The item continued: “Duffy noted that Guardsmen who are called in the wake of hurricanes or to fight wildfires could retire without veteran status. However, active-component ‘desk jockeys’ who never leave the Pentagon would have that recognition.”<br /> <br /> Is the use of “desk jockeys” against active-component service members any less of a pejorative than “weekend warriors”?<br /> <br /> I’ve lobbied legislators and I understand that Duffy has a tough, enervating job advocating for NGAUS and members like me. But there’s plenty enough vitriol in American society today.<br /> <br /> Let’s have the National Guard message continue to be delivered in the most enlightening, educational and positive manner possible.<br /> <br /> Retired Col. Peter D. Fox Michigan Army National Guard <br /> <br /> Valuable Spotlight <br /> <br /> I want to thank retired Master Sgt. Bob Haskell for bringing to light the levy system used in 1968 to push National Guard soldiers into Vietnam in order to fill active-component vacancies (“Split Apart,” Guard Roots, May 2012).<br /> <br /> Very few today realize the demoralizing nature of the levy system and the impact it had on unit morale, especially upon returning to home station.<br /> <br /> My father was a company commander in the Iowa National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 133rd Infantry, in 1968 when the unit was mobilized in support of Vietnam. He was levied out of Fort Carson, Colo., leaving a majority of his unit behind, eventually finding himself assigned to the 4th Infantry Division as a replacement infantry officer.<br /> <br /> I can tell you that until the day he died, he was convinced that his old Company B would have stood toe-to-toe with any active-component infantry company in Vietnam if only given a collective chance.<br /> <br /> Again, thanks for the work on this article. It’s about time someone acknowledged the other 12 mobilized Army National Guard organizations that contributed to the Vietnam War.<br /> <br /> Col. Michael G. Amundson Iowa Army National Guard.

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