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VA — MIA

You’ve all heard the stories about the way servicemen were treated when they returned from Vietnam in the ’60s.

Perhaps one of them was a family member.

No one had ever seen anything like it: Uniformed military coming home from a combat zone only to have American civilians spit on them and shout, “Baby killer!” in their faces.

It was an extraordinarily unpopular, undeclared war, but mistreating the participants who were simply following orders was inexcusable. It was a shameful moment in history perpetuated by a minority of badly behaved political activists. It could never happen again; vets are respected now.

Really?

Tell that to the families of the 40 or more veterans who the Arizona Republic said have died waiting for care at our local VA hospital. Let’s discuss the pride we, as Americans, have in our military, when suicides outnumber combat deaths due to a lack of counseling. The VA is still stonewalling veterans suffering from exposure to Agent Orange.

So how about if we renew demonstrations, this time outside the VA hospital at Seventh Street and Indian School Road, but instead of “baby killers,” this time shouldn’t we be shouting, “Soldier killers”?

I’m Pat McMahon.