I am a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, and this past weekend I was required to wear my uniform while traveling to and from Indianapolis for a conference.
The last time I traveled in uniform was May 10, 1970, as I returned from Vietnam. I was not subjected to the ridicule I have heard other returning soldiers describe, but I did feel a sense of shame over some passengers' looks and stares as we flew from San Francisco to Minneapolis. I swore I would never wear my uniform again.
Last weekend the experience was totally different. In the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, as well as the airport in Indianapolis, it was not uncommon for other travelers to come up to our group of soldiers to thank us for our service. A woman waiting to fly standby from Indianapolis offered her seat so at least one of us could get home earlier. We were overwhelmed by the goodwill of these people.
I just want to say thank you to all of the people supporting those of us who are doing our best to serve our country during another less-than-popular war. After 36 years, the sense of shame that I once had has been replaced by a sense of pride.
JAMES REECE, COLUMBIA HEIGHTS
I personally make a point of thanking members of our armed forces for their service when I see them. I hope you do, too.