The Truth Was Far Different

by Gordon Cucullu, LTC, US Army (Special Forces), ret
(St Augustine, FL)

In my case I gave up a 3-year, draft-deferred fellowship to grad school to enlist in 1967. My choices were not unique. Many of my fellow soldiers were well-educated, honorable, and proud to serve.

Others, who came from different circumstances - as in the WWII generation - found a military that encouraged education and introduced all of us to people we might never have met otherwise.

Had the honor to serve in Vietnam with some of the finest soldiers America has produced. Amazing people.

Most combat vets were simply a microcosm of US society - men and women from all walks of life and experience.

While he may think that playing a soldier on the screen equates to reality, Mr. Kilmer is sadly misguided if he thinks that acting equates to combat. We didn't get to wash the makeup off after the scene and retreat to our air-conditioned trailers with a drink.

Our blood, pain, discomfort, and losses were real, not make-believe.

Like far too many Americans, Mr. Kilmer has clearly bought into the myths propagated by anti-war and anti-soldier activists and politicians (and a hostile media) of the Vietnam vet as a drug-addicted, alcohol besotted sociopath unable to adjust and condemned to a life of criminal behavior living in a cardboard box under the freeway.

The truth is far different. Yet the myths persist to this day. Similarly, our Guantanamo vets are being maligned by media today. I can't change the past but have written a book (Inside Gitmo: The True Story behind the Myths of Guantanamo Bay) in order to do my part to stop the slander and libel of these fine troops in the same manner, and by some of the same people, who attacked us.

De oppresso liber.
(Ed. note: "to free the oppressed" - Army Special Forces motto)

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Val Kilmer.

If you didn't find what you're looking for, use the search bar below to search the site:

Connect With Us

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to our e-mail updates Subscribe to our RSS feed

As Seen In

Newest Articles