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By Attorney Rees Lloyd
November 29, 2015

On the Thanksgiving Holiday, and every day, there is much for which Americans to be thankful, most especially for our freedom; and those who have kept us free -- American veterans.

First and foremost are those on active military duty. Americans should be thankful that even in this age of the rise of Islamofascist terrorism threatening the world as once did Hitlerian National Socialism in WWII and as did Communism thereafter in the Korean and Vietnam War eras and North Korea today, there is a new generation of Americans willing to put their lives on the line in defense of American freedom by service in in the American Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard.

Similarly, thanks should be given to all Americans who have served in defense of freedom.

"Some things are worth living for. Some things are worth dying for. One of those things is free-dom," said the late Gen. Norman ("Stormin' Norman") Schwartzkopf, Vietnam War veteran who went on to command American and combined forces to victory in the Persian Gulf War, Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Veterans, from the Founding Fathers in the Revolutionary war until today, are those Americans who believed that freedom was worth living for, and dying for, if necessary.

As expressed by Maj. Gen. Patrick H. Brady (USA, ret.), Medal of Honor recipient who is re-garded as America's most decorated living veteran: "America has no hereditary class of nobility. America's nobility are her veterans."

Thus, we Americans should give thanks also to all veterans who have served when our country called them to the defense of freedom, as "all gave some, and some gave all."

The Islamic jihadist attack in Paris should bring home the reality that Americans must once again rise up as have all past generations of Americans, from the American Revolution on, to fight in defense of American freedom,

The question is: Have Americans been so transformed in the last six years that we lack the will, the courage, the confidence in our country and our culture to make the fight which must be made against America's enemies, "foreign and domestic," to preserve our freedom?

There are lessons to be learned on what is needed from the service and sacrifice of veterans -- and their families -- in past wars. The examples of heroism by veterans, and their families, in war and in peace, are legion, from the age of the Founding Fathers to today. However, too often the lessons of their lives are forgotten. They are not taught to American children in contemporary public schools dominated by politically correct, multi-cultural, cultural relativist, progressive liberal education bureaucrats and teachers' unions. They are not celebrated in the media except on Veterans Day or Memorial Day, after which they are generally ignored. Politicians and gov-ernment bureaucrats pay lip service to them, then fail to deliver on promises, as the current scan-dalous failures of the Veterans Administration prove.

In the Vietnam War in particular, what American veterans, and their families, endured, and sac-rificed, in serving when the country called, were not recognized, nor appreciated.

Particularly unrecognized is what the wives and children of Vietnam veterans endured during that long war. They, too, were heroic, suffering in silence then, and rarely recognized since then. The lessons, and sacrifices, of their lives, too, need to be known, and valued.

There is a new and valuable documentary available on one of America's greatest military heroes in the Vietnam War, the late Rear Admiral Jeremiah A. Denton (USN, ret.) -- and his family. It shows what it takes by way of service and sacrifice to keep America free.

Adm. Denton was a POW in Vietnam for seven years/seven months, four of which years he spent in solitary confinement. He, and fellow resisting POWs, endured inhuman torture inflicted on them by their Communist captors. The American government under President Lyndon John-son knew the POWs were being tortured, but had a policy not to expose it for fear the Commu-nists would do worse — and imposed that policy on the families. It took the revolt of the POWs wives against that policy to expose the Communists lies and torture, and embarrass the Commu-nists into ending the torture policy after the death of Communist leader Ho Chi Minh.

Meanwhile, the Communist enemy was aided and abetted by American Hollywood celebrities like Jane Fonda; New Leftists like Students for a Democratic Society leader Tom Hayden ("Mr. Jane Fonda”); domestic terrorists like “Weather Underground” leaders and bombers Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorn, from whose living room years later Barack Obama launched his political career in Chicago; and self-promoting would-be politicians like John Kerry (who served in Vietnam only for four months, after being denied a fifth deferment). They each and all supported the Communist enemy, called the POWs and their families “liars” in claiming Communist torture, and condemned America and American troops as "war criminals." So effective were they in aiding the enemy that photos of Fonda and Kerry were prominently posted in the North Viet-namese regime's War Museum in Hanoi as "heroes" who helped the Communists "defeat the United States". [See, "Unfit For Command," by John E. O’Neill and Jerome R. Corsi, for the truth of Kerry's service--and his aiding the enemy after his four months in Vietnam.]

During the war, Adm. Denton's wife, Jane, and his seven children, endured almost eight years never knowing the fate of her husband and their father. Jane Denton later became a leader in the wives revolt exposing the Communists torture of POW.’s. Their rarely revealed story is magnifi-cently told by author Alvin Towny in the new book, "DEFIANT: The POWs Who Endured Viet-nam's Most Infamous Prison, the Women Who Fought for Them, and the One Who Never Re-turned."

Admiral Denton's own book, "When Hell Was In Session," has become a classic on what POWs endured under communist torture. A new edition was recently released by WND books.

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After his release, he was elected a U.S. Senator from Alabama, serving during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, who cited Denton as an exemplary American military hero and peacetime patriot in a State of the Union address.

The new documentary on Adm. Denton, and his family, powerfully, and movingly, tells what he and other POWs endured, and what the families of the POW's endured. It shows thereby what m is needed if tyrannical Islamic terrorist jihadism is to be overcome. The Thanksgiving Holiday, and every day, is a a perfect time to view it, and give thanks for their courage, patriotism, and heroism.


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� 2015 Rees Lloyd - All Rights Reserved

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Rees Lloyd, a one time ACLU staff attorney, is the co-founder and director of the Defense of Veterans Memorial Project of the American Legion Dept. of California, and a member of the Victoria Taft Blogforce.

A longtime civil rights attorney and veterans activist whose work has been honored by, among others, the California Senate and Assembly, and numerous civil rights, workers rights, and veterans rights organizations. He has testified as a constitutional expert at hearings before the U.S. House and Senate representing The American Legion.

He has been profiled, and his work featured, by such varied print media as the Los Angeles Times and American Legion Magazine, and such broadcast media as ABC's Nightline and 20/20, Fox News In The Morning, and, among others, by Hannity. His writings have appeared in a variety of national, regional, and local newspaper, magazine, and other publications. He is a frequent radio commentator, and a sought after speaker.*

[*For identification only. The views expressed here are solely Rees Lloyd's and not necessarily any person, entity or organization he may otherwise represent. ]




On the Thanksgiving Holiday, and every day, there is much for which Americans to be thankful, most especially for our freedom; and those who have kept us free -- American veterans.