The following letter was published by the brother of David Thomas to a local newspaper in 1967.
I had 22 years of freedom, enjoyment and friendship–and apathy towards it all. This has all changed in just two months without those things.
I have discovered a new America, a new sense of life, a new set of values, a new me. It took Vietnam to do it, but it happened.
There must be an easier way to see the good things in life. Where then can it be? Religion, someone special, a personal goal? I guess these could be the answer for some. I had all of these and still didn’t really see just what this great land and life was all about. The answer for me was hiding in Vietnam.
This rancid, underdeveloped, backward place, somewhere on the face of the earth, has given me a new love of my country, its principles, and way of life. The little things–my wonderful family, solid religion and downright respect for people in America–maybe to some these sound superfluous and corny, but to me they are now sacred.
I pray that my little brothers won’t have to come to Vietnam to find these things. There is only one thing that may be able to help them build a better and stronger America–it’s you. Let the guys over here know that you are behind them and that you understand the only way to save America, and what it stands for, is for them to destroy the Communist foothold in Asia…
Ask anyone over here how he feels about riots, anti-war marches and hippies protesting. Most will agree that, while not approving of them, he’s here to protect that freedom. If I were home, I’d be a little sick of having carried a wonderful thing too far…
Can you people see the analogy of “wars of liberation” and what is happening at home? We are trying our best over here. The home front is in your hands. Make it a better home for us to come back to…
Patrick J. Thomas