Dick Standaert
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Dick Standaert during the Vietnam War.

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Fifty-year-old ironic memory

Fifty years ago on July 20, I was one of over 500,000 guys serving in Vietnam and one of 12 guys on an advisory team that lived, trained and fought the Viet Cong with South Vietnamese military and special police units. That night, my South Vietnamese counterpart and I led a squad of South Vietnamese soldiers into an ambush position on a trail outside a Vietnamese hamlet. We were there to protect the villagers from the Viet Cong who were attempting to take control of the people living in the hamlets in the area.

While preparing for the operation, I was told that we had two astronauts on the moon. I spent the night lying on my stomach and elbows, facing the trail with my M16 in my arms, and hiding from the moonlight. Near dawn and certain it was to be a quiet night, I told my counterpart that there were two Americans on the moon. He didn’t respond.

Ninety percent of the Vietnamese people in the district our team was assigned to protect were peasants. In quiet times in safe hamlets, older Vietnamese men would sit next to me so they could press their shoulder on me and touch my arm in a way that expressed safety and comfort.

On the same night that Americans amazingly put two men on the moon, 500,000 guys in Vietnam and their families back home offered all to provide freedom and safety for people who had never known it. That night my head and my heart needed men on the moon as much as I needed and wanted to be in Vietnam. The irony never escapes me.

Dick Standaert

Colorado Springs

How fake news spreads

Taxpayers in Colorado Springs did not pay for the rainbow crosswalk that Douglas Evans also stated were painted. (Taxpayers getting slapped, Letters, July 16)

The crosswalk was privately funded. Secondly, the crosswalk was not painted. If you had read your Gazette the other day, you would have seen this article: “Temporary rainbow to be painted on Springs crosswalk for PrideFest.” Sadly, this is how fake news spreads.

I suggest the next time you wish to write a letter to the editor, you read up a bit. Perhaps you will be taken a bit more seriously by readers.

Rebecca Davis

Colorado Springs

Move city past its reputation

I, like many others in the community, was delighted to see the Pride-themed art crosswalk at Tejon and Colorado. However, I was disappointed to learn that it will was installed through Monday, July 15.

As one of the Mayor’s Young Leaders and a recent transplant to Colorado Springs, I am saddened that our celebration is only one weekend long, when every major American city celebrates Pride for an entire month.

As evidenced in our pride celebration in America the Beautiful Park, pride is good business. Companies such as UC Health, State Farm, Progressive, and the Mining Exchange were front and center in the park this weekend.

In other cities, Fortune 500 companies spend $10,000-$35,000 on floats to show their commitment to equality and millions more in marketing to the LGBT community and their allies. Furthermore, millennials — a demographic of great interest to the future of our city — overwhelmingly support LGBT issues.

If we are to retain millennials who choose to move here while attracting new businesses and employees, we must actively demonstrate that we have moved past our reputation as ground zero for the “Hate State” movement.

That requires work and might be uncomfortable to some. However, a rainbow art installation on one crosswalk for two weeks seems like a beautiful, if temporary, way to show that Colorado Springs has become an inclusive and welcoming community to all.

Aisha Ahmad-Post

Colorado Springs

Blaming racism for everything

The newest weapon of the Democrats is the word “racism”. They are running out of weapons to attack with. Nancy Pelosi is a racist, Donald Trump is a racist, everybody that is not an extreme leftist Democrat is a racist.

Donald Trump was only saying, ‘why would anybody leave their country and go to another country if their own country is better. They should choose the best country, go to that country, and love and appreciate that country, not criticize it.’

What happened to our immigration system that used to say immigrants had to adjust and conform into the way the United States is?

Michael King

Colorado Springs

We’re better than this

Once again the present occupant of the White House has shown that his upbringing was very wanting. He lacks common sense and personal decency. He never learned to “play nice” with others, especially strong women.

His outbursts are not only childish, but demeaning about citizens of this country. Thank goodness he does not represent the majority of the voting public.

Unfortunately though, Donald Trump plays to that portion of the population who support him in his attempt to divide this country. We’re better than that, both individually and collectively.

Let’s quit giving in to this spoiled child and condemn his antics and outbursts. We’re becoming the laughingstock of the civilized world. Our place in global leadership is becoming questionable with the present person at the helm of our ship of state.

Bob Armintor

Colorado Springs

Setting a bad tone

Thank you for acknowledging in your recent editorial that the president made a racist remark. So sad that he keeps the public distracted from real issues by his inappropriate tweets. Sets a bad tone for our country.

William I Brown

Colorado Springs

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