Robert Gauthier (Oct. 23) commented about why he joined the Navy during the Vietnam conflict. From the way he worded it, I can tell he never served in Vietnam itself. That is OK, he did his duty.

He mentions the three factors of why he served: Freedom, liberty and justice. After watching Ken Burns’ excellent series on the Vietnam war, I can say Mr. Gauthier bought into the patriotism thing the government was selling at the time. Although I was also in the military, Vietnam was way before my time. Knowing how I was during my late teens, early 20s, I would probably have volunteered.

What galls me is when I hear people say we were there “protecting our freedoms.”

What freedoms did 58,000 Americans who died there protect the United States of America from? Vietnam was a backward, third world country and it turning into a communist country would have zero effect on us.

What Ken Burns’ series shows us is the war was about greed and ego. It shows us that the government will lie to us. It should have been a lesson to our current leaders. Sadly, I don’t believe any lessons were learned.

Anybody care to wager that our current leader will have us in a military conflict, in some backward third world country, in order to “protect our freedoms” before very long?

David T. Lancaster, Murray