No group of American military veterans has received more abuse than those who served in Vietnam. From the miscreants who spat upon them when they arrived back home, to a government that essentially abandoned them when the war ended, the treatment of veterans returning from Southeast Asia is a blackmark in American history for the more than 3 million Americans who served in-country, and more so for the more than 58,000 who paid the ultimate price in a war that tore the country apart in the 1960s.
The pain of that mistreatment is still very evident to the veterans who served in Vietnam. To help soothe the pain inflicted upon those veterans, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was completed in 1982 in Washington, a beautiful granite wall with the name of every veteran who paid the ultimate price forever etched into stone. It’s one of the most heart-felt memorials in the world.
In addition, several “traveling Vietnam Wall” memorials, exact replicas of the real thing in DC, travel across the country every year, making appearances in towns large and small. The wall, and the accompanying ceremony, is a great way to honor those who died in the war and those who served with honor and distinction.
One of the traveling walls made an appearance this weekend in Flora, Mississippi. Appointed US Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith was scheduled to speak at the event on Saturday, October 27 and to lay a wreath at the wall in honor of those who perished.
Instead, Hyde-Smith blew off the veterans of the Vietnam conflict to make an appearance at a peanut festival in Aberdeen, a “biscuits and jam” event in Union, and a chamber of commerce event in Pontotoc. It was either her, or her “guys,” who must have determined that those campaign events were more important than veterans who served in Vietnam and to those with their names etched in stone on the memorial wall.
And not only did she abandon the veterans; she didn’t even bother to notify the event’s organizers that she would not be attending.
In her place was a top campaign aide, a man named Umesh Sanjawala, whose daughter was a consultant to Hillary Clinton and made news earlier this year with a vulgar picture in which she made a very obscene gesture in front of a Trump sign.
Hyde-Smith, though, wants us all to believe she’s a friend to our veterans. On her Senate page, it reads: “Senator Hyde-Smith is committed to ensuring the federal government meets its commitments to the men and women who have bravely served in the Armed Forces.” Yet she was too busy with campaign events to bother with veterans of the Vietnam War in Flora, Mississippi.
Chris McDaniel, who was not on the scheduled program, attended the event.
And to those who may say that this is nothing more than a close McDaniel friend looking for an issue in which to attack Cindy Hyde-Smith, let me get a bit personal. Even though I was not born until 1973, I care very deeply about our Vietnam veterans. I have a special place in my heart for them. I have been to Vietnam five times and have had the honor and pleasure to spend much of that time with veterans, some who were making their first trip back since the war.
On one trip, I was in Hanoi to observe the transfer of the remains of 21 missing US servicemen from the Vietnamese government to US officials.
So, this is not simply a campaign issue for me. This tells me, and should tell you, a lot about who Cindy Hyde-Smith really is. She has proven herself, time and again, to be nothing more than an Establishment hack plucked right from The Swamp at the behest of Mitch McConnell. She has proven that she cares far more about her campaign for election than she does the veterans of the Vietnam conflict.
By her actions, Cindy Hyde-Smith, the “former” Democrat, has dishonored and, in fact, denigrated those who served in Vietnam and those who lost their lives. She’s no different than the leftwing radical Democrats who disrespected them in the ‘60s. This is unacceptable behavior for anyone aspiring to serve the people of Mississippi in the US Senate.
*Photo by Ryan S. Walters, Hanoi, 2004.