The Presidency: Tribute to Sacrifice

Viet Nam Veterans Memorial

Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose,

But young men think it is, and we were young.

—A.E. Housman

Lovely irony. Like life. An infantry corporal with nine pieces of shrapnel in his back carried on the fight for three years, pressing, retreating, always recovering and trudging wearily ahead, overcoming protesting generals (Air Force Ace Robinson Risner) and multimillionaires (Ross Perot) and politicians (Congressman Phil Crane) and pundits (Columnist Pat Buchanan) and bureaucrats (Secretary of the Interior James Watt).

Stupidity, narrow-mindedness and indifference were even greater enemies, just as Jan Scruggs found they were in Viet Nam. He was 19 when...

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