Misconceptions of Viet Nam veterans to be cleared up this Memorial Day:
1) That we were dragged into military service: two-thirds of the men and women who served in Viet Nam volunteered for duty. In contrast, two-thirds of the people who served in World War II were drafted.


They went to the wall together and cried.
“It was like going to meet a friend...and finally saying goodbye.”
Henry Decoteau of Vineyard Haven was a career man in the Air Force, not a fellow familiar with tears. But when he and his wife Bette traveled to Washington last week to be part of the National Salute to Viet Nam Veterans, the weight of emotion was almost too much.


Woody Williams graduated from the Island’s regional high school in 1969 and went off to fight a war. In some ways, he’s still fighting it.
Jeff Baker knows the feeling. Sometimes when he’s sitting in his Vineyard Haven home he hears rapid gunfire and jumps up. It’s his wife popping corn.
Several years have passed since the two young men left the jungles of Southeast Asia. Yet still they wonder when they will leave behind the ugly  visions and enjoy Island life with others of their generation.


Notification was received this week by his family, of the death in the Gulf of Tonkin of United States Navy Lt. John Robert Painter Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. John R. Painter of Hine’s Point. Lieutenant Painter was lost last Friday in an aircraft accident at sea, when he was flying from the carrier, Oriskany. Details of the incident are still not known.
A group of Islanders will be participating in the March on Washington on April 24, which is being organized by the National Peace Coalition, calling for an end to the Vietnam war.


Kivie Kaplan of Chestnut Hill and Vineyard Haven, a civil rights leader active in the national N.A.A.C.P., was among those who attended the Peace March in Washington last week, and he has written the following account of that experience, which he described as an inspiring one.
“To see the more than a quarter of a million dedicated young men and women and very few adults certainly showed that there was hope for the future, with our wonderful youth of today.