Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
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2013 Veterans Day ceremony

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From page A5 | December 02, 2013 | 5 Comments

EDITOR:

I attended the Veterans Day ceremony at the Placerville Veterans Memorial with my husband, a Vietnam veteran. Around us were other Vietnam vets and their wives. We enjoyed talking and getting to know one another. Some we knew from past ceremonies as well as other community events, others were new acquaintances. The men always seem to easily slip into a special bond with each other, even if total strangers, particularly those that had been in the infantry. They have learned over the years, especially the early years, to rally together for that support and comradeship that our nation denied them for so long.

We hear all of the time about honoring the WWII veterans (as we should) and the outpouring of support of today’s soldiers and their families is extremely heartwarming. A Veterans Day ceremony should be a place a veteran should be able to come and feel welcome and comfortable, not feel as an outcast and shunned.

So, there we were enjoying the presentation of the colors and that wonderful Ponderosa choir. And then Chief Heller, the new chief of police for Placerville, the master of ceremonies, began recognizing all of the veterans that served this nation in our wars and conflicts, even the veterans of Grenada that only lasted about two months. However, once again, just as Supervisor Ron Mikulaco did at last year’s Veterans Day ceremonies, the veterans of Vietnam were left out. I thought that by now this nation and especially this county would have gotten over this negative attitude towards Vietnam veterans. Only when one of them, a door gunner, called out a reminder did the chief acknowledge the Vietnam veterans.

This just cannot happen again. Not in this county. It is outrageous and totally unacceptable.

DORIS MILLER
Cameron Estates

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 5 comments

  • 57 ChevyDecember 02, 2013 - 10:44 am

    Ron Mikulaco--the king of Fools. Or is he the Chief Jester?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Pat SmothersDecember 02, 2013 - 6:23 pm

    Dear Mrs. Miller, As a Vietnam veteran I understand your frustration at the slights that we have received through the years. However, Chief Heller, a relative new-comer to our area, was asked to be the emcee of the ceremony at the Veteran's Memorial. There's a lot of pressure put on an emcee to know all the facts regarding the dignitaries, names, dates, etc. On top of that his job is to introduce all speakers and guests.at the correct time, while following the protocol of the program. Sometimes mistakes happen. None of us are perfect. As Sgt. at Arms for the program I know this first hand. I truly believe that Chief Heller meant no disrespect to any veteran. I give him my full support for the job he has done for the Friends of the Monument and I wish him well as he works for the city of Placerville. I hope to see you at future ceremonies. Thank you for your comments and your support for all veterans.. Sincerely, Pat Smothers Sgt. at Arms Friends of the Monument

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  • R.j. CarterDecember 02, 2013 - 8:03 pm

    Pat ....I was also at the P"Villle Veterans Day Memorial service.....I believe most vets in attendance were of the Vietnam era and not only did the Chief not recognize the Vietnam war, plus at no time during the ceremony did he ever take off his hat or sunglasses...Now, I'm not blaming Chief Heller as it appeared he was just ill prepared and under a lot of pressure.. And, like you I truly believe, like you do that Chief Heller meant no disrespect to any veterans..I'm sure he learned from his mistakes and will nail it next time...Sh*t happens.....

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  • Kurt RaffettoDecember 03, 2013 - 8:42 am

    As a member of the Friends of the Monument committee and a veteran of more recent conflicts, I can assure you that no slight was intended to the veterans of the Vietnam conflict. The Monument itself was conceived and completed by Mr. Rich Buchanan, a distinguished veteran from the war in Vietnam.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • James CollensDecember 03, 2013 - 2:09 pm

    Faked outrage over a veteran who missed a line of his script, by Republican Central Committee 1st vice Chair Doris Miller is outrageous. It’s hard to imagine any group who would use our military, our vets on Veterans Day, as pawns in a political game for their own political agenda and limelight! ..... There was a time when Republicans were the first to defend veterans and the last to attack anyone who had served, regardless of partisan affiliation. That tradition is dead, however, in part because so many of the party’s extremist leaders, who talk loudly about war, managed to avoid military service when their time came. Vietnam era veterans, with the exception of a handful, are unique, and until they draw their last breath, will maintain a deep sense of loyalty, honor and dignity to our Nation, in spite of the not-so-fair treatment many of us have received.

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