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Lloyd Waters: Jane Fonda says, 'get a life' - many can't

April 21, 2013|By LLOYD WATERS

Mr. Harold Nichols, a gentleman from Mercersburg, Pa., took exception to my column, “No Political Apathy in Ohio, Baltimore or D.C.” He has the impression that I was a Mitt Romney supporter, and suggested that I should “get over the election results” and the appearance of sour grapes.

Actually, I’m not a fan of most politicians. Trying to defend some of them at times is like plugging 100 holes in the Hoover Dam with my eight fingers and two thumbs. 

I didn’t really believe that Romney or President Obama possessed sufficient wisdom to lead our country. Nothing has changed my view yet.

On the heels of Mr. Nichols’ advice to me in his letter to the editor now comes Jane Fonda with another message.

Her advice has, admittedly, awakened the ink in my pen.

Jane Fonda, as you might recall, had very little difficulty expressing her anti-war sentiments in Hanoi during the Vietnam War.

She now wants everyone to forget this particular chapter of her life, including me, and go see her new movie “The Butler.”

To her ongoing Vietnam veteran critics, Fonda’s advice is simple: “get a life.”

To be very candid with you, I didn’t think the Vietnam War represented a reasonable political approach either but I was sent there by our government from August 1967 to August 1968. 

I was stationed at Long Binh with the 1st Aviation Brigade.

The Vietnam Memorial now lists some 58,282 casualties and stands as a constant reminder of our country’s sacrifice.

April 8, 2013, marked the 44th anniversary of the death of my best friend, Orville Lee Knight. At age 20, he stepped on a land mine in Bien Hoa province. His name can be found on Panel W27, Line 39.

Lyndon B. Johnson and Robert McNamara’s names do not appear on that memorial. They share, however, direct responsibility for most of those deaths that now live on that black granite wall.

That’s one of the reasons I am sometimes bothered by the leadership of our political friends.

Jane Fonda’s name is not on that memorial either. Her action during the war is one of calamity.

She was in Vietnam, too, but spent most of her time in Hanoi with the enemy labeling our American forces as “war criminals.” A popular 1972 photograph showed her seated on an anti-aircraft battery which often was used to kill American soldiers, some of whom probably found their way sadly to The Wall.

Unlike those real Hollywood heroes like Bob Hope, Raquel Welch, Martha Ray, Barbara McNair and many other stars who traveled to Vietnam to entertain our soldiers during some very tough times away from home, Jane Fonda elected to hang out with the enemy and call us names.

Now she finds herself starring in a new movie, “The Butler,” where she plays the role of Nancy Reagan. I suppose anything is possible in Hollywood. 

Although I can perhaps “forgive” Fonda for her insensitivity, and her treason-like behavior and brainwashing for hanging out with the North Vietnamese while our soldiers were being killed, I can’t bring myself to respond favorably to her notion that I should “get a life.”

To expect me to go to a movie, and support her trade as an actress while contributing to her livelihood after her antics in Hanoi is not something I am likely to do.

As I take the train from Brunswick, Md., to Union Station and grab a ride on the Metro to the National Mall to visit the Vietnam Memorial, I easily bond with the many visitors who come so often to gaze, weep and mourn their lost loved ones as they softly reach out to touch those names on that cold wall.

I can still vividly remember Fonda’s behavior.

“Get a life,” she says, but 58,282 Americans can’t do that.

Neither can I.

Fonda expressed her opinions in 1972. 

In 2013, I’ve expressed mine ...


Lloyd “Pete” Waters is a Sharpsburg resident who writes columns for The Herald-Mail.

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